Landlady refusing to pay tariff charge electricity share. Help appreciated.

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    Landlady refusing to pay tariff charge electricity share. Help appreciated.

    This is a bit convoluted but I would really appreciate some guidance. Sorry for the long post.

    I moved my family into a property in September. The landlady has 2 properties here. One is empty. The properties belong to her elderly parents and she is managing the houses for them.

    I was shown the electricity cupboard before we moved in and the only thing the landlady said was that "These are the meters. We've just had a new one added". I took that to mean the old meter was for the old house (my rented home) and the new one was for the newly converted barn next door (that's empty).

    We moved in and I transferred my electricity account to the new house.

    I then get a very high electricity bill in December. I queried it and approach the landlady. She then tells me that the main house and annexe are both billed via the one meter, and that the new meter is simply a tally for the electricity I use in the main house (and not tied to a supplier). So, my electricity account is tied to both properties (as in I am liable for the bill). My landlady said that it would be fine because we'd work out the proportions used, and then they would reimburse me the amount used at the adjacent property. I wasn't so keen on being the named account holder but didn't want to rock the boat.

    The tone changed when the bill was proportioned out and the adjacent property had a much higher bill. They have lights on timers and a ground source heat pump running and I don't think they realised it would be so expensive to keep running.

    The amounts were agreed and they said they'd pay. The landlady came this weekend and asked we switch supplier to a cheaper one (I had been using green electricity) and I said I was fine with that.

    The next day, she emails to say they will not pay the green tariff and that they will only pay the cheaper tariff of their preferred supplier, leaving me £200 short on their portion of the bill.

    My landlady is an ex-barrister and is also known locally for not paying her bills. I didn't know that before I moved in.

    She said that her parent's representatives have said it is not in her parents' estate's interest to pay the higher tariff, so they are refusing . I very much think the landlady and her sister are the representatives of her parents' finances but she is hiding behind legal speak.

    Her argument is that "not aware that you were planning to change the electricity supplier, nor were we aware that you had done so. Had you not made the surprising decision to change to a more expensive supplier, both our bills would have been less and the account would have remained in our name. We were not aware that you had changed the account into your name."

    The landlady did not say that I was to not move the electricity bill into my name or that I had to stay with the previous electricity supplier. I didn't even know who the supplier was.

    I know that under consumer protection law, I can choose the supplier unless my landlady had added a 'default supplier clause’ to the tenancy agreement. She didn't do that.

    She is now saying that she isn't contesting my right to choose my own electricity supplier (as she knows that is my legal right) but is now saying the point is that I changed the supplier and the account details and they were not aware.

    It's just gaslighting and avoidance as far as I can make out. I wasn't ever asked to keep the bills in their names, or to use a certain supplier. They also didn't say both properties were hooked up to one meter.

    Is there anything more I can do? She is dismissing any responsibility of the default supplier clause and making this to be something of my doing as the tenant.

    It is infuriating to be bulldozed by her because she has a legal grounding and is used to getting her own way.

    Thanks

    Maud










    #2
    Can you locate the main fuse for the sub main supplying the adjacent property?

    All you can do is monitor the total usage AND the 2nd meter and record the useage and apportion the bill according using the percentage "split"

    Do you pay her direct or via a lettings agency? If its direct, then maybe you need to write to her confirming you will reduce your payments to cover the lecky or get the agent to do the same.

    Keep the communication polite and in writing - as I suspect you'll be needing this at a later date

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Neelix.

      I do the suggested. I monitor the usage and apportion the bill. She is refusing to pay the tariff of the company I have been using.

      She has applied her conditions retrospectively. There's no mention of her wishes anywhere about using her preferred supplier.

      I mean- I wouldn't have minded doing that. It's just that I didn't know to.

      I rent directly from her.

      There is a damp problem in the house too. I worry she will refuse to do the remedial works needed if I reduce the rent.

      This is why I am frustrated. She is dictating terms as she needs them knowing I am in a vulnerable position.

      I have all of this in emails. I am polite and clear.


      Comment


        #4
        She sounds ghastly

        if there was nothing in your agreements about utility suppliers, then both of you need to find a compromise.

        how long has the other building been a home ? Most people don’t realise how much energy ground source heat pumps use

        Comment


          #5
          That's the thing- she is adamant she won't compromise. There is nothing in my tenancy agreement about using their supplier. Just that I am responsible for paying the utilities.

          If she'd said it before I signed the contract, I wouldn't have minded using that supplier. It that she is refusing retrospectively.

          She is ghastly. After we moved in, the neighbours and local tradespeople said she is a nightmare to deal with. If I'd known that, I wouldn't have moved here with a 2 yr contract.

          I'm not sure how long ago next door was converted. I think she was really shocked how much £ the ground source heat pump is costing.

          Comment


            #6
            I'd say "Sorry, I'll transfer the account back to your name and you can chose the supplier" and then just do it. Make a record of how much electricity you've used and just pay for that.

            It seems that the main board is for the main house and annex and the second board is just for your house to record what you use.

            Comment


              #7
              Ask for a sub meter to be put in. What a nasty landlord



              Freedom at the point of zero............

              Comment


                #8
                Poor you: Landlords like this should be banned from operating.

                What a shame new tenants don't require references about landlord from previous tenants (entirely legal..)
                I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Berlingogirl View Post
                  I'd say "Sorry, I'll transfer the account back to your name and you can chose the supplier" and then just do it. Make a record of how much electricity you've used and just pay for that.

                  It seems that the main board is for the main house and annex and the second board is just for your house to record what you use.
                  I have said that and that is what is going to happen if she'll agree. It's the shortfall in the difference of tariffs that is the issue for the usage so far. Beginning to feel that she is going to get away with manipulating the bill.

                  I'd leave if I didn't have a 2 yr tenancy agreement.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Also- is there somewhere to report behaviour like this to?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      'phone Shelter free helpline 0808 800 4444 they might have suggestions and advice.

                      Check with ofgem (?) re charges for someone else's electric.

                      Good luck.
                      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
                        Ask for a sub meter to be put in. What a nasty landlord
                        There is a sub meter.
                        Tenant has taken responsibility for 2 properties without authority and cost the landlords parents increased costs. It's hardly the landlord's fault.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Section20z View Post

                          There is a sub meter.
                          Tenant has taken responsibility for 2 properties without authority and cost the landlords parents increased costs. It's hardly the landlord's fault.
                          There is not a sub meter. There is a meter monitoring the usage of the main house. It is not registered with any supplier.

                          I was directed to set an account up using the old meter. That meter is supplying electricity to both properties. I was not told that was the case when I took on the property.

                          How is this my fault as the tenant?

                          If the landlord wanted to use a certain supplier, surely they should have told me that.


                          https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/h...-you-re-tenant

                          “for any clauses on energy suppliers in your tenancy agreement. There may be some circumstances when a letting agent or landlord has a preferred supplier which is set as the default supplier as part of the tenancy agreement. This is known as a 'default supplier clause'.
                          If you notice a default supplier clause before you sign a tenancy agreement, talk with your landlord or letting agent to see if you can renegotiate this clause. If following this conversation you cannot change the clause, you are still entitled to switch supplier if you are responsible for paying the energy bills.”

                          There is no default clause in my tenancy agreement.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Maud21 View Post

                            There is not a sub meter. There is a meter monitoring the usage of the main house. It is not registered with any supplier.
                            t.
                            That's the very definition of a sub meter.

                            They are using quite a bit of electricity and are quite happy to pay but have asked if it can be through a cheaper supplier. And that makes an unreasonable landlord who should be reported ????

                            Maybe you should find another property.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Section20z View Post

                              That's the very definition of a sub meter.
                              I have a property with a sub meter in it. The calibration is the same as the main meter therefore a reading of the sub meter will tell what use a 2nd property is using and therefore can be accounted for separately.



                              Freedom at the point of zero............

                              Comment

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