Previous tenant paid last gas bill based on wrong estimated reading by gas company

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    Previous tenant paid last gas bill based on wrong estimated reading by gas company

    The previous tenant left during lockdown and closed his gas account based on an estimated reading that was too low. I did not realise this until 6 months afterwards as I never took a reading when I moved in, assuming everything was correct (oops). Then the gas company took a reading 6 months later and it is double what the bill should be.

    What can I do? No one knows what the "correct" reading should have been when I moved in, and due to the lockdown I guess the electric company decided not to take readings themselves and only used estimates until now. The previous tenant left the country long ago due to covid restrictions and I guess it's not his fault that the estimates were wrong? Should the gas company take responsiblity for using bad estimates? Thanks in advance x

    #2
    I'm afraid you are probably responsible because you failed to read your meter and you failed to notice the reading was wrong for 6 months. I can't see the utility company taking responsibility when the fault can be laid elsewhere.

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      #3
      Agree with above, it was not difficult for the ex tenant to read his or her meter and pass it over, and equally (as you know) when you failed to also read the meter that just added to the problem...... i am afraid it is down to you to pay. This is why i like smart meters, they are in all my BTL's and the energy company can read the meter at a certain time on a certain day..... really easy.

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        #4
        Do you have a check0in inventory? If so are the meter readings on there?

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          #5
          Me thinks the tenant did this on purpose

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            #6
            The readings were never read by anyone (including the electric company) because no one had the key to the meter room and I guess no one bothered to acquire the key. Was only just read for the first time in about 3 years, so the readings were also estimated before the previous tenant arrived...

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              #7
              I'm surprised the LL / LA didn't take a meter reading, is it not recorded on a inventory report? You probably don't have much re-course if you don't have any supporting evidence to state what the readings where 6 months prior to you moving in.

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                #8
                I'm never ever surprised when LL/ LA don;t do the basics. Using myself as an example, obviously.....
                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...

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                  #9
                  I think that knowing I was responsible for the energy used from the date I moved in I would not just have accepted that no-one knows where the mater cupboard key is. I would have got it open somehow. The ones in my flats can be opened with a flathead screwdriver.

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                    #10
                    I think the company has an obligation to get an actual meter reading at least every 2 years - during covid they accepted photos in place of sending in a meter reader - you could try getting them to accept at least some of the blame.

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                      #11
                      Highly unlikely the previous tenant has paid lesser than they had actually consumed because nearly all service provider while closing the account then always try to over charge the customer whether its their estimated reading or other hidden charges. Also, ordinarily the estimated and actual reading has very minor discrepancy which usually is around £1-£20 unless somebody's lifestyle extraordinarily changes. Probably the op has received a higher bill than usual which is totally due to the constant surge in energy prices.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by Farrella View Post
                        it is double what the bill should be.
                        If you don't know what the reading was when you moved in, then how do you know the bill is double what it should be?

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