I rent an apartment in a building with several units. All electricity meters are behind a locked door.
My electricity provider asks me to provide readings from my meter every three months, and I used to do so in the past. At first I had a key to the meters, and later when the locks were replaced with numerical ones every resident was given the passcode.
Recently, the locks to the doors have been changed yet again, and I have neither the key nor the passcode. I have contacted the company that manages building maintenance (which is not my landlord or letting agency) and they have confirmed that they are the ones who replaced the locks, but they refuse to give me access to the meters.
Their best offer was to instruct the cleaner who comes every two weeks to take a picture of the meter and email it to me, but I feel this is inadequate. I would prefer to get a reading from the meter whenever I need it, without having to wait. In addition, when this happened in the past I was given a picture from the wrong meter and as a result I feel I cannot rely on them.
If I cannot give a reading to the provider in time, my bill will be based on a guess of how much electricity they expect me to have used. I would very much prefer to continue giving them accurate readings in time.
Is the management company's refusal to give me access to the meter reasonable? Can I force them to allow me access?
Research on legality
While researching this matter I came across this website: https://mocopa.org.uk . My electricity provider is among those who have signed the agreement, which states that when a meter is installed or moved,
The location must be accessible to the Customer so they can read their meter
while "the Customer" is defined as
a person to whom a Supplier proposes to supply or for the time being supplies electricity through an Exit Point (as such term is defined in the Use of System Agreement).
I am not a lawyer so I cannot tell if "the Customer" is me in this case or the management company, but if it is myself then it seems the provider might be in breach of this agreement by allowing a third party (the management company) to restrict access.
I contacted the provider (without specifically mentioning MOCOPA, however) and they claimed that the matter is between me and the management company.