9:34 AM, 31st January 2023, About 10 months ago 18
Hello, I wanted to share a bad experience I had this week whereby a cleaner has cost me over £1,000 in electricity. I share this as a warning to others but also I would like to know if anybody else has ever encountered a similar situation and if they managed to resolve it or hear from anybody who may have advice on resolving it.
I own a rental in the North West which is fully managed by a letting agent. The property has been rented out to the same tenants for 5 years and there has been very little for the managing agent to do as there were hardly any maintenance issues and the tenant reliably paid their rent.
When the tenant vacated, the property had very heavy wear and tear and I have decided to redecorate and replace some flooring and take the opportunity to do some fairly major work to the bathrooms which are a bit dated.
The tenants moved out early December and I managed to get up to the property for 5 days and start some decorating and begin to make plans for the bathrooms and flooring. While I was there the managing agent who are sorting out the deposit through the deposit scheme advised me that they would be sending a cleaner to clean the property as this could be claimed from the deposit. They did not however stipulate what date the cleaner would be attending.
After 5 days I had to return home due to other commitments and Christmas and managed to make it back to the property in late January to continue with the work. On arriving at the property I unlocked and opened the door and was immediately hit by a wall of heat like a furnace. On inspection there were three heaters that had been left on at full power in the property.
The only people with keys to the property are myself and the managing agent. I now have an electricity bill for over a thousand pounds for a vacant property! I phoned the managing agent straight away and explained that the cleaner must have left on the heating (she had left the keys in the property and pulled the door closed on the latch). The agent said they would look into it and get back to me.
At first they seemed sympathetic but then changed their attitude and said that it wasn’t her, as cleaning staff are told they must never turn on any heating, even though she had the only other key to the place apart from me.
I would like to take this further but the problem I have is that the managing agent is claiming (after bringing the issue to their attention) that the cleaner cleaned the flat on the bank holiday 2nd January but my electricity bill goes up from late December so based on their dates the electricity spike would have begun before the cleaner was at the property.
I believe they are lying about the date the cleaner came to property to avoid liability but I have no way of proving it. So it looks like I will be landed with paying this bill due to the cleaner’s negligence and the agent’s complicity.
If anyone has any related experiences or thoughts they would like to share they would be much appreciated.