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Remus2004, Barrister
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 71530
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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I have got a question about electricity bills. My daughter

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Hi, I have got a question about electricity bills.
My daughter lives in a 5 bedroom student house, the problem is the annexe is rented out seperately but gas and electricity is on the same meter reader. We only found out after receiving a very high bill that the annexe has got electric heating and the bill can therefore in our opinion not be devided by 6 people. The landlord does not want to install a sub meter and only agreed to pay about 30% of the electric bill which is, as per my research, still not enough as electric heating is very expensive. What can we do?
The annexe is not mentioned in the contract at all ( the students in the previous year said, it is not in use ), has not a seperate address and was not rented out when they viewed the house. The landlord only mentioned that she decided to rent out the annexe after they had signed the contract.

Do they have access to the annex?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi, only the tennant of the annexe has got a key to it. The tenant of the annexe is entering through back door which leads to joined utility room and than into the annexe

is the contract is silent on the point of electricity bills?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
On the contract it is stated that utility bills are not included in the rent and have to be paid separately. In terms of how to handle the annexe consumption, yes it is silent agreement, because when they signed the contract it wasn't mentioned that the annexe will be rented out as well

thank you.

The reality is that whoever is on the electricity bill is liable to the electricity company. There is no way around that. The fairness of it will not interest them.

The question is whether or not you can recover from the landlord. He does seem to be offering something which suggests that he does have some responsibility in his mind.

It seems, on the face of it, that it depends what agreement existed between them. If an agreement existed that it would be divided equally then that is the liability of the tenants in the annex. That might be very unfair but contracts are sometimes.

Another option is to try to argue that you didn't ever agree to have included the electricity of the annex. To be wholly honest, that might be extremely complicated and it might be that you don't recover much more than 30% but it is an option available to you. If the contract is completely silent on the point then that would help you.

Can I clarify anything for you?


Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi Jo,
Thanks for your reply yes we are aware that the bill towards the electricity company has to be paid but what can we do to get the landlord to install a submeter for example to prove that the tenant in the annexe is using most of the electricity. Just wondering if the landlord is legally allowed to rent outrage house excluding bills and the annexe incl. bills if there is only one meter. This is clearly a disadvantage

Oh I see.

He cannot be forced to instal a meter I'm afraid. There is no way around that.

All you can do is try to negotiate over that.

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