Around £4000 including excess bills, expert reports, court fees, and an amount for stress caused.
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I highlighted the problem as soon as I got my first bill (6 months into the tenancy), but they said if I didn't like it I could move out. I thought it might be a meter issue so I had SSE out about 11 times, and the Ombudsman. Eventually they changed the meter but still no luck. After 3.5 years my landlord sent out some electricians on their staff who couldn't figure out what was wrong either. Eventually a friend of mine figured out it wasn't wired correctly (only 1 feed into the apartment instead of 2). They never said anything about the tariff, I found out from SSE that flat had been on the same economy 7 tariff for 9 years - most of that time my landlord was using it for his staff.
Yes, it was wired for a traditional setup - radiators. For storage heating (economy 7) you need a split feed into the apartment so you can benefit from day and night rates, I didn't have that. I have an electrical engineer's report confirming this is the wrong setup for storage heating. It will of course work, but you'll pay several times as much as you should. If I had known I could have switched to a different tariff and saved myself thousands, but they never said a word. I suspect they didn't know, despite owning this building for many many years, they could even have built it originally.
Thanks for this. I should now point out this went to the small claims court and the landlord is Eton College. They submitted no evidence in advance, but showed up on the day with an expert witness and a lot of documentation I could not decipher. I tried to ask for this to be dismissed as it hadn't been submitted in the given timeframes, but I was not even allowed to object. Consequently I was unprepared for their evidence. The judge ruled it was my responsibility to pick the correct tariff. I am now appealing and need help to put my case across using the right legal basis. If this is something you think can be done, and can help me with, I'd like further consultation with you. Is this possible?
Yes. I was denied it during the hearing (Eton College have strong links with the local government and I can't help thinking this had an impact on the judge allowing them to break rules etc.), but I appealed above him and have permission. I have to submit my response by 21st October.
Hi. Sorry to bother again, one last question. What part of the contract was my landlord in breach of? What section of law applies here? Their argument is that they provided heating that worked, the bills were not their responsibility. I'm not clear where they are against contract?
I have googled this like crazy over the last few years but never found the right piece of legislation. A landlord is contractually obliged to ensure there is a functional safe supply of electricity and goods, but nothing to do with fair usage. I argued the case based on the supply not being fit for purpose but lost. Do you know the specific piece of this act that applies?
Thanks, but this doesn't help. It relates to safety, the system was safe, but not designed for storage heating so I don't see how this will help me. This is where I fell down before - I was unable to highlight what section of law requires the landlord to ensure the right supply matches the installed heating system.