Electricity Bill Payments Issues With Landlady

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    Electricity Bill Payments Issues With Landlady

    Hi,

    When my housemate and I signed the tenancy agreement we assumed that we would be taking care of the utility bill payments for the house. Thats how it was stated in the agreement we signed. It turns out that this isnt the case and that the landlord pays the bills and we have to pay her back.

    The amount that we owe her for electricity is about £330 for a 9 month period, which i find ridiculous. The trouble is we live above a shop in a 3 bedroom flat. The landlady owns and rents out space for the shop as well. It turns out that there is only one meter for the flat and the shop. When she get the bill she divides the cost charging us 2/3 and the shop only 1/3. My housemates and I all work at the same place and are out of the house from 9am-6pm every weekday so only really consuming electricity from 6pm-2am roughly and on weekends. We do have electric heaters in the house but only 3 of them work in the house. The emmersion heater in the house doesnt work as well so there is no hot water so that isnt consuming any.

    What i wanted to know is does she have a right to spilt the bill charges how she feels like?

    Can she just use one meter for a domestic and business residence?

    Is there anyway we can force her to get us a seperate meter as the meter is down in the shop and we cant always get to it?

    As this wasnt stated in the tenancy agreement does she have any right to charge us like this and can we force her to change the proportion she is charging us?

    Can someone please provide advice as soon as possible because she is threatening that we pay her by the end of the week.

    P.S. This also applies to the water payments but they are more realist.

    #2
    A LandLord cannot make anything out of recharging you for utilities. She cannot resell for a profit electric water or Gas, but must charge you for what you have actually used as it has costed her. This is a legal requirement.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the reply.

      I'm not saying that she is making a profit as i have seen the electriclty bill. What i want to really know is have we got a good case to ask her to lower the proportion to which she charges us as nothing was stated in the tenancy agreement.

      She says that what she is charging us has nothing to do with the shop but i have spoken to the electricity company and they have said that there is only one meter in the property.

      Comment


        #4
        If she is apportioning a unfair amount of the electricity bill to you, in other words you are paying for some of her electric, she is making a profit. You only need to pay for the electric you use.

        Why dont you see how many units you use while the shop is not in use, say take a meter reading over a bank holiday, and then work out the likely cost over the quarter. Present her with this information and the fact that she is legally not allowed to charge you for something you havent used and see what she says. Sounds to me like she has plucked a figure out of the air and not really thought about it.

        Comment


          #5
          It would not be unreasonable to request that a check meter be installed for the flat, this in effect is a seperate meter showing your actual usage.

          If there is nothing in the agreement regarding the division of bills then I would argue that 50/50 would be fair unless she can provide actual usage readings.
          My advice is not based on formal legal training but experience gained in 20+ years in the letting industry.

          Comment


            #6
            Ok thanks for your help and will give update after i have spoken to her.

            Just on a side note does anyone think that £330 electricity for about a 9 month period is high. This is for a 3 bedroom flat that is used for about 9hrs each day.

            ......and £77 for water?

            I just want to get an idea of what people think to these charges.

            Comment


              #7
              I pay £12/month for a 3 bed house with gas central heating and got a bill for £69 recently which makes it I would say about £170 for 9 months ?

              And we're out 12 hours a day, 5 days a week.

              But if you have electric heaters I wouldn't be surprised if they'd use that much in winter.

              Comment


                #8
                Well, in all honesty, not really, I pay about £30 a month for my 3 bed house, but it depends on what you use, I have gas heating and cooking. I have a flat, however, with Electric heating and cooking who used about that in a quarter! Clearly there was a insulation problem which I have sorted now, in most of my 1 bed flats I charge about £20 per month for electric. On the water issue, and I would like to gain others opion's on this, I allways thought the LL was liable if the flat is furnished and the Tenant liable if unfurnished, but I maybe wrong.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Im sorry, are you saying that if a flat is furnished then the Landlord is liable for the water payments? I haven't come across that but would be happy to hear from someone who actually knows.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I seem to remember hearing it before, I too would like confirmation if this is correct.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'm prepared to be corrected but I've not heard that LLs are responsible for the water bill if property is furnished. What does it say in the agreement about water bill? It would be unfair for you to pay the entire bill if it's for the whole property (incl. the shop part) surely the shop should be contributing.

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