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 Jamie-Law Your Own Question
Jamie-Law, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 6449
Experience:  Solicitor
Type Your Property Law Question Here...
Jamie-Law is online now

My tenants have been living in my flat for over two years.

This answer was rated:

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.

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

How is the energy bill devided up do you know?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The bill is divided as the following:Metered charges:
-Heat/ Hot water
-WaterOther charges:
-Water standing charge
-Block A - Private StudioVAT 5%
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please see attached.

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

Customer: replied 1 year 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.

Do you know what this charge is?

Customer: replied 1 year 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.

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 1 year 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.

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 1 year ago.
Hi Jamie,Maintenance of the boiler would be classified as maintenance of the property or maintenance of utility?

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

Does that clarify?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you

If I could ask you to rate my answer before you go today, by clicking on the 5 stars or happy face, otherwise the site does not pay me for the time spent with you today. Thank you in advance and good luck!

Jamie-Law and 2 other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you