November 26th is the 330th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 35 days remain until the end of the year
1863 – United States President Abraham Lincoln proclaims November 26 as a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated annually on the final Thursday of November.
Constitution Day (National Law Day), also known as Samvidhan Divas, is celebrated in India on26 Novemberevery year to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India.
“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.” – Chad Sugg
“November always seems to me the Norway of the year.” – Emily Dickinson
“Welcome sweet November, the season of senses and my favorite month of all.” – Gregory F. Lenz(and not just because it is the birthday month in my family – Michelle)
November seems to have gone by in a bit if a blur, which is strange given the social distance and lockdown we have been going through.
November is birthday month in my family, maybe that is why it has gone quickly, more zoom gatherings and calls with loved ones, chats of what to do, and what we can do next month….Christmas @ GPL
Historically we close the office down from the 23rd December through into the new year, but as the office is already closed, we will be turning off our laptops fromWednesday the 23rd December 2020 until Wednesday the 6th January 2021.As the 21st century way of life means that there is constant contact with landlords, tenants and agents through emails coming to phones, WhatsApp messages and phone calls if there are any repairs or emergencies it can be addressed. From the accounts side of things, I’m not sure when the banks do the frustrating not processing Internet/online transactions because it is a holiday, but I will try and keep as up to date with payments as the situation allows.
Promote early communication and mediation to solve Covid rental issues
Agents, landlords and tenants are urged to work together to sustain tenancies at risk due to the Covid-19 pandemic and ensure tenants access all available support to pay their rent. Regular emails and updates are sent out to tenants to advise them on the best way to apply for funds and not fall into arrears.
The Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL) is promoting early communication and action to reduce the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on landlords and tenants in the private rented sector. SAL is urging tenants and landlords to use free mediation services to reach fair and reasonable solutions for both sides.
They are also highlighting six key principles all landlords can follow including avoiding any eviction process unless absolutely necessary and reducing rent levels where possible to reflect short-term difficulties.
Landlords are also urged to ensure they are knowledgeable about support available and proactively signpost tenants to free, confidential and independent advice through the Citizens Advice network.
John Blackwood, chief executive of the Scottish Association of Landlords (SAL), said: “It is in everyone’s interests that landlords and tenants work together to sustain tenancies wherever possible and early, open and honest communication is key to that.”““Landlords must work with their tenants to signpost them to free, independent advice and not begin any eviction proceedings until they have exhausted all other possible options.”
Social Justice spokesperson, Mhoraig Green, said: “We often see tenants who have put off seeking advice until they reach a crisis point, and who have been too nervous to speak with their landlord. We’d urge all landlords to follow the clear principles set out by SAL, enabling tenants to communicate with them openly and honestly.“There is help available for any tenant or landlord who isn’t sure where they stand. If you’re a tenant and things are looking tough, tell your landlord as soon as you can and get in touch with your local Citizens Advice Bureau or other advice organisation to see what your rights are and what help you can get with rent.”
Recently there has been a push for tenants to have smart meters installed, some questions we have had and concerns raised are :
“I have to have a smart meter!?!”
Smart meters aren’t compulsory. You’re not legally obliged to have a smart meter installed if you don’t want one.
“I can’t change supplier with a smart meter”
If you have a first generation SMETS1 meter you might find it’ll lose some smart functionality for a short period, but you can still go ahead and switch supplier.If you have a second generation SMETS2 meter you can switch supplier without any problems. SMETS2 meters will keep their smart functionality after a switch
Switching energy suppliers becomes difficult
If you’ve had a first generation installed, you may want to switch suppliers when it’s time to get a new deal. It should be simple, right? Well some suppliers, unable to fit a smart meter that will take your energy readings, may hold back on offering you great value deals because of it. Once smart meter technology is updated so that any energy provider can read them, this issue of switching with a smart meter may still remain
“Smart meters are a radiation risk”
Smart meters emit radio waves like mobile phones, but only in short bursts. And they’re not as close to your body. You should get less exposure to radio waves from your smart meter than from your mobile phone. For more details, see the government guidance on smart meters: radio waves and health..
“Smart meters aren’t safe”
Smart meters have undergone testing under UK and EU product safety law. Public Health England, part of the UK Department of Health, has studied the evidence and ruled that smart meters aren’t a danger to your health.
“Smart meters can spy on me”
Smart meters can’t see you or listen in on your conversations. None of your personal information is collected or stored.They don’t connect to the internet. They use their own secure wireless network, known as a home area network, to communicate with the In-Home Display.The only thing it measures is the amount of energy you use. It sends this to your energy supplier via a wide area network (WAN) that works in the same way a mobile phone sends and receives information. You get to decide how often that happens so you’re in control.
“I can’t get a smart meter if I’m a renter”
Tenants are paying the energy bills and they’re addressed to the tenant , not the landlord, they’re entitled to ask the energy supplier for a smart meter. Although they don’t have to ask permission, we do encourage it.
Under the law, whoever pays the energy bills at a property has the right to a smart meter. Even if renting. There is one loop-hole available to private homeowners, however, as they can include not installing a smart meter into a tenancy agreement.
The smart meter has turned dumb
If you’ve got a smart meter and recently switched energy supplier, you may find that your meter has lost its smart functionality. The most common cause of this is that you had a sMETs1 smart meter and your new energy supplier is unable to read the meter. Although this is a common smart meter problem, it will be remedied by future technology able to read any type of smart meter.
Poor signal prevents the smart meter from working
Smart meters communicate with energy suppliers using mobile technology (network coverage) and a weak signal can prevent a meter sending reads. If you live in certain rural areas or those notorious for having bad mobile phone signals, the chances are that a smart meter may struggle to work in your house.
Smart meter stops sending readingsTo the previous point on poor signals, if you get weak coverage in the area you live, this can sometimes stop your smart meter from sending readings at all. While your supply won’t get cut off, this could lead to delayed bills and confusion among households.
The smart monitor is hard to understand
One of the problems with smart meters is that the average energy consumer doesn’t understand energy. The smart meter itself isn’t the problem for most households, it’s the energy monitor that comes with it that causes the most confusion. While everybody is well-versed in pennies and pounds, kilowatt-hours and other energy terms are difficult to decipher for most elderly and vulnerable customers.
Smart meters pose a risk to security
Although smart meters send meter readings to your energy supplier, they do not store or pass information such as your name, address and bank details. Smart meters were designed in consultation with the UK’s top security experts.
Existing meters are hard to access
A lot of current meters were designed not to be replaced or removed. That makes replacing them sometimes difficult as they were installed in either hard to reach places or without much thought to future technology innovations.
The smart monitor changes language
True story – some smart meter users in England and Scotland have experienced their smart monitor’s screen displaying data and information in Welsh, even though they clearly not in Wales. To switch your display back to English.
Over the top smart meter sales pitches from energy suppliers
Even though smart meters and their installation is free, that hasn’t stopped some energy suppliers from aggressive tactics to get switches. Saying no to a smart meter is your right as an energy customer and if you feel pressured by your supplier you can make a complaint or apply for the Priority Services Register.
Smart meters increase fear amongst vulnerable energy users
Although smart meters can help you keep track of your energy use, they could also drive up anxiety with elderly or low-income households if they’re constantly reminded of what they’re spending. This could lead to people depriving themselves of adequate heating or lights. One possible plus side of smart meters, if the technology evolves, is that they could be used to monitor the energy use of those in need of assisted living. If a smart meter can tell if someone’s lights or gas hasn’t been used in a while then it could be a tell-tale sign that they might need help.
Maybe in 2021 I will have a smart meter installed and be an advocate for it. However, not quite yet. When we have a change of tenancy smart meter experience that is positive, I will rethink, however sadly that has yet to happen.
Take care and have a wonderful weekend
Michelle & the GPL team
VAT : 174415411SC345735
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