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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 25426
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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We have been renting privately and have found ourselves paying

Customer Question

We have been renting privately and have found ourselves paying very high electricity bills (more than the rent). In the past 10 months we have paid EDF a total of £3875. There is no mistake on the bills and our consumption.
We were never told that the bills would be so high as we wouldn't have rented this property.
What can we do?
Thank you
Natasha
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 3 years ago.

Joshua :

Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.

Joshua :

How large is the property please - e.g. 4 bedrooms?

Customer:

It was a 1 bedroom flat with a conservatory and a work shop

Joshua :

Thanks. That seems insane. Presumably I am correct to assume you are not doing anything unusual in the flat that would take up large amounts of electric obviously - e.g. running fan heaters in every room 24 hours a day or anything odd of that nature? Do you also have gas? What kind of heating do you have - central or individual heaters?

Customer:

the property is run just on electricity, so no gas or oil

Customer:

for heating it has 3 storage heaters the ones with the bricks inside, we had to run up to 5 free standing heaters but not for 24 hrs as the property was very cold (around 12 degrees without those on) it is single glazed and very old with no insulation anywhere

Customer:

in the summer of course we didn't have these heaters on and the bill still came up to £1500 (this was from July to October)

Joshua :

Thank you. Have you identified what appliance(s) is using so much energy? Have you conducted a test by switching everything off altogether for a short period - i.e. whilst you are away overnight or for the day to check the meter doesn't move?

Customer:

we rented this property from 1st Nov 12 to 30th Oct 13

Joshua :

So you have now moved out?

Customer:

we have tried: Switching off the mains and meter stopped running

Customer:

yes we have moved out

Customer:

EDF are sending an agent out to identify what is using that much energy

Customer:

The flat before was used as an office and EDF have confirmed the bills were always so high

Joshua :

Thanks. Could you confirm if you have now moved out or if you are still living there?

Joshua :

Is the landlord EDF themselves or a private individual now?


 

Customer:

We have moved out, we moved on the 12th November 13

Customer:

sorry my mistake 12th Oct 13

Joshua :

Thanks Finally is the landlord EDF themselves or a private individual now?

Customer:

Landlord is a private individual

Customer:

EDF supply the electricity to that property

Joshua :

Thanks. There does appear to be an anomoly as this level of bill is roughly three times what a property of this size should cost albeit some allowance must be made for the lack of insulation. Nevertheless there appears to be a major issue here from what you say. How you deal with it at this stage however may be complicated by the fact you have moved out...

Joshua :

In order to consider redress you will need to identify either 1) that the meter is faulty - you say you have confirmed this is not the case or 2) the appliance or appliances that are consuming such a large amount of electric.

Joshua :

In the event that the meter is faulty then EDF must refund you the difference between what it can reasonably substantiate is your usage and what they have charged. In the event that an appliance is faulty, if that appliance was supplied or owned by the landlord then you may have a claim against the landlord for breach of Contract.

Joshua :

If the landlord is allowing and EDF representative to enter the property for testing then ideally you will obtain a copy of his report. In principle you could ask for your own electrical engineer to attend to carry out an investigation and measure consumption levels of the appliances. Sometime storage heaters can malfunction and consume excess electric but this is conjecture on my part and solid tests must be completed as evidence in this respect.

Joshua :

If you can show that one of the landlords faulty appliances is to blame then and you have a report confirming this then

Joshua :

... you may consider a claim against the landlord for breach of contract for supplying a faulty appliance under the provisions of the Supply of Goods and Services Act which implies terms into your tenancy agreement and potentially the Electrical Safety Regulations.

Joshua :

To pursue such a claim you would need evidence (i.e. a contractors report identifying the faulty appliance) and then if you cannot agree with the landlord a settlement, to issue proceedings using www.moneyclaim.gov.uk

Joshua :

A court can determine the matter and award compensation as it deems appropriate.

Joshua :

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?

Customer:

Ok, that all makes sense and exactly what I thought would be the case…..

Joshua :

Is there anything else I can help you with on the above for now?

Customer:

No that is great thank you very much for your advice!

Joshua :

A pleasure. If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do no hesitate to let me know.

Customer:

ok great will do! How do I get hold of you again?

Joshua :

If you have no further questions for now I should be very grateful if you would kindly take a moment to rate my service to you today. Your feedback is important to me. If there is anything else I can help with though please reply back to me though. You can contact me either by returning to this thread or asking a question by either clicking on my profile or asking for me in the first line of your question entirely as you prefer.

Customer:

ok brilliant! Thank you

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