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The bills are in the Landlords name and I believe that I'm being overcharged. Landlord does not show

Evelyn_AnnEvelyn_Ann Member Posts: 2 Listener
I am finding myself struggling with gas and electricity bills. I am in the 'priority' category but I don't have my name on the bills, so I'm paying direct to my Landlord and I believe that I'm being overcharged and secondly, I now cannot claim the Warm Home Discount because my name is not on the bill.  My Landlord has never shown me the bills or given me a monthly statement of account.. When I contacted my previous supplier when I had my own bills at another address, I find that I'm paying double to this Landlord?  I have spoken to them many times to no avail!  With housing so difficult to find these days I worry about being too outspoken in case the landlord would evict me after the year which ends in January.  I have always paid my rent and whatever the Landlords agent tells me to pay, because if I don't pay then I will be without electric and gas. It's very difficult to budget my finances and I can't afford the high bills, I cannot get the Warm Home discount, and I'm expected to pay almost the double of what I normally paid before I moved here. I had to move because my previous Landlord evicted me because he wanted to sell the flat?

The bills are in the Landlords name and I believe that I'm being overcharged. Landlord does not show 0 votes

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Replies

  • siobhan1siobhan1 Member Posts: 77 Pioneering
    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/nireland/consumer/energy/energy-supply/energy-bills/paying-your-energy-bills/paying-your-landlord-for-energy/

    Hi

    Thought you might find the above link helpful.

    You are right you can't get the rebate as the bill is not in your name or your partner's name.

    I hope your landlord isn't overcharging you. There are various ways to check depending on how they bill you and what kind of property you live in. For example a self contained property with its own supply would be easy as you could just take meter readings and work out how much you're using. It's difficult if you live in a house with your own room (HMO) or bedsit for example.

    Are you on friendly terms with your landlord? What I would do in your situation is next time I see them mention that the weather has been really cold or something and casually bring up the energy bills and how much you're spending... you could mention that you feel like you're paying a lot and ask them if they have considered cheaper suppliers? Instead of saying anything in an accusatory way you could put more of a spin on it so it appears you're mostly asking because of how much it's costing you for the supply and wondering if there's any way to get the cost down.

    It could also be down to how they're working out the bill. They can't charge you for communal lights etc these would come under a service charge. They should only bill you for what you use but for a building with multiple tenants and only one supply this would be difficult. Your neighbours or co-tenants could be using more than they are paying for if the cost is split equally.

    You do have a right to know what you are being charged for but you are valid to be concerned that they could do a "revenge eviction" as sometimes this does happen when though it shouldn't. If you don't get anywhere with your landlord and still think they're overcharging you then you should speak to your council. You wouldn't be making yourself homeless if he evicted you over this so they would eventually have to help you find suitable accommodation. That's worse case scenario.

    Other things you could try if the landlord doesn't live with you - tell them you went to visit a family member for a couple of days if your tenancy allows it, but for some reason your energy bills are the same as last time and you would expect them to be less... ask him if there is a problem with the meter or can they adjust the calculation for what you actually used. This actually happened to an old friend of mine who lived in a self contained bedsit with a communal electricity supply. The landlord used to divide the bill by number of tenants. He didn't use any electric for a week as we were on holiday and the landlord had to deduct some usage cost off the bill but still divided the standing charge.

    Good luck and hope you get it sorted.
  • Evelyn_AnnEvelyn_Ann Member Posts: 2 Listener
    Thank you very much for your advice!  Yes, the reason that I would be so worried about being evicted is that I have 4 small pets Toy Poodle, Long Haired Chihuahua, and two cats who adopted me a few years ago!  I have the Basement Flat and it includes a small garden which my pets really like, especially when the sun is shining!  We also live just across the road from the lovely sandy beach in Westbrook, where I take the two little fur kids for their walkies.  I wouldn't like to lose my pets, or my flat, or the beach, or the convenience of having several major bus routes with the 'stops' just outside my door!   So I will have to tread very carefully as there is a lack of suitable housing in my area. I am 68 years old now and I live alone, I have no children or family and  my health is declining somewhat, to be honest I couldn't manage another move neither physically, mentally, or financially!  So it looks like I had better keep quiet for now??                

    Best regards,  
    Evelyn
  • siobhan1siobhan1 Member Posts: 77 Pioneering
    I would do what you think is best. Housing advice and other agencies like citizens advice would tell you your rights and what you can do to challenge the cost of the energy that your landlord effectively resells to you... but as you know it's not always as simple as that as landlords can just decide they want the property back, and only you know how they would react to being accused of overcharging. Do you know what people in similar properties pay for their electricity and gas? That could be a good starting point.
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