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Jamie-Law
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 4353
Experience:  Solicitor
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My tenants have been living in my flat for over two years.

Resolved Question:

Hi there,My tenants have been living in my flat for over two years. The block of flats is connected to a Communal Energy System provided by Switch2. Therefore, tenants cannot choose different suppliers. They provide a bill which includes Heat/hot water, electricity, sewerage, water, and under 'Other Charges' -water standing charge and a 'Block A Private Studio'. My tenant yesterday asked me about this charge of 'Block A - Private Studio' which seems to be a standing charge or the other services in the bill. However, their total bill was £94.21 and the charge for the 'Block A - Private Studio' is £40.15. They have to pay that every month and it seems exorbitant. He was questioning if instead of himself I was liable to pay for that because of the wording they use on the bill 'Block A - Private Studio' . Could you please confirm what the law says about such a thing? I don't think I am responsible for that as I already pay a very expensive service charge for the building.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 8 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help,you.

How is the energy bill devided up do you know?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
The bill is divided as the following:Metered charges:
-Heat/ Hot water
-Electricity
-Sewerage
-WaterOther charges:
-Water standing charge
-Block A - Private StudioVAT 5%
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Please see attached.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 8 months ago.

what does your tenancy agreement say about billing and payments etc?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Property. Utilities and Other Charges28. The Tenant is responsible for the payment of the following utilities and other charges in relation to the Property: electricity, water, internet, cable, telephone, natural gas, heating oil/propane, garbage collection and alarm/security system.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 8 months ago.

Do you know what this charge is?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
I am not sure, but apparently this charge is for maintenance of the boiler, meters, etc. It seems this is the standing charges.I have already written to Switch2 to confirm.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 8 months ago.

ok. If the tenancy agreement says they must pay it and the charge from Switch2 is valid then the tenants have to pay it.

If not this could be breach of contract and grounds to give notice.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Jamie,To be honest you just said what it is already in the contract and by reading it anyone would know.What I really need to understand is whether I would be liable to pay for that part of the bill if it refers to maintenance charges.
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 8 months ago.

If it's to do with maintenance of the property then you have to pay it. If it's to do with maintenance of utility etc your tenant is liable.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hi Jamie,Maintenance of the boiler would be classified as maintenance of the property or maintenance of utility?
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 8 months ago.

Maintenance of property I think. The boiler itself is the responsibility of the Landlord.

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
thank you
Expert:  Jamie-Law replied 8 months ago.

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