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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.
Can you advise what your landlord is seeking to charge exactly please?
do you have a formal lease agreement?
Units used @ 15p per unit, irregular invoices not for set periods, latest 10.9.2014 to 4.01.2015 incl 4902 units total charge for £735.30 + VAT @ 5%. Original agreement was rent including electricity in 1 all inclusive charge.
Thanks. Do you have a formal lease agreement?
Existing premises were original pig sheds on working farm (part of the Vesty Estate tenancy farmers). Existing tenant being the son and the farm is no longer agricultural but split into industrial units, and riding school / stables etc. Cannot recall any original formal agreement.
Thank you. you refer above to the original agreement including electricity. This is only agreed verbally or was this agreed in writing?
From what period is the landlord seeking to charge for electricty?
It started 2012 just verbal when existing tenant received higher than previous electricity charge for the site and declared that the rent would not be reduced and would no longer include electricity. This was without discussion or prior warning, most of the supplies to individual units are not from source in main barn to the unit but feeds taken from various points in between to security lights, containers, maybe stable areas, etc. Until we installed a meter recently we had no way of determining accuracy of units and amounts, most other units have no meters supplied by the landlord apart from perhaps 1 or 2 the rest are just gestimates to our knowledge after discussion with other premises, all very ad-hock.
Thanks. Is there any written evidence that the rent included the electricity - emails, letters etc? Or was all of the above just verbal?
Have never in 35 years until 2012 ever paid for electricity separately ??? always been all inclusive. Will hunt for any documents but the old Major Myton-Mills did things on handshakes and I suppose "gentlemans agreements" but will investigate old files etc.
Thanks. So finally the position could be summarised in that you have no or at least may have no written documentation confirming that electricity was to be included as part of your rent but you can point to a clear and long-standing evidence of dealing between you and the landlord whereby rent included electricity. is that an accurate summary of the position?
thank you. If you have an established evidence of dealing with the landlord and can evidence this through actual payments and dealings, then you can establish an implied lease on those terms irrespective of the fact that you may not have a written lease agreement
obviously a written agreement is preferable because relying on evidence of dealing to establish a legal agreement gives rise to the possibility of disputes between parties however providing you can evidence as above, you can enforce the terms of those dealings.
If you intend to hold the landlord to the established pattern of dealing, it is important that you do not agree to pay additional electricity costs advising the landlord that your lease includes electricity as evidenced by the established pattern of dealing for many years and invite him to confirm the position in writing
if he refuses to do so, ultimately you can advise the landlord that you consider the position to be as above and if he disputes this, he will need to consider issuing proceedings for recovery in the County Court
Is there anything above I can clarify for you?
Not for the moment thank you.
If I can assist any further as the situation develops please do not hesitate to revert to me
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