How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Joshua Your Own Question
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 26070
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Joshua is online now

I rent a flat from a private landlord. I have a sub-meter for

Customer Question

I rent a flat from a private landlord. I have a sub-meter for my electric and My landlord has for the last 10 1/2 years invoiced me monthly. My sub-meter is connected to a business meter. My landlord has always charged me domestic rates for my electric. He has know asked the person who rents the business part of the property from him to invoice me for the electric. They have sent me a bill, charging me business rates for my electric. Can they do this?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 4 years ago.
Thank your for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

In order to give you an answer tailored to your circumstances, I will just need to ask you some preliminary questions so that I can consider your position from all angles.

What type of contract do you have?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Assured shorthold tenancy agreement. Which states in it that the electric is to be paid to my landlord monthly within 7 days of invoice date.

Expert:  Joshua replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your question. Please kindly RATE my answer when you are satisfied

My colleague has opted out of this question. I will be happy to try assist you with the same.

  1. Are you able to give me the exact wording of the clause please?
  2. Does the agreement allow the landlord to assign the benefit of part of the agreement to a third party by way of a clause permitting this?
Expert:  Joshua replied 4 years ago.
I am about to be travelling for a while so may not be able to come back to you until later. So in anticipation of your reply I will try to give you a respons now but do come back to me if you have any further queries.

Unless there is a clause that permits the landlord to assign pat of the benefit of the agreement to a thrid party then the landlord cannot insist you pay someone else unless that person confirms the act as the landlords agent and this is confirmed to you by the landlord. If they are acting as the landlords agent then this is acceptable.

However the landlord must whether directly or via his agent substantitate any charges that he wishes to levy. Unless there is specific provision in the tenancy that the rates payable should be business rates (which would possibly be an unfair term if it was there) then the rates you pay should be based on evidence of dealing between you and the landlord to date, namely domestic rates if this is what you have paid until now. I presume there will be no provision in the tenancy agreement providing that the landlord may charge a higher rate or business rate specifically and on this assumption you can point to evidence of dealing with the landlord in the past to resist any claim for an higher rate than that previously charged without justification - e.g an increase due to inflation.

Notwithstanding the above you are entitled to ask for a copy of the main bill on which the calculations are based if you wish to check the charges being levied.

Is there anything above I can clarify for you?