Shock electricity bill for void period?

by Readers Question

11:02 AM, 20th April 2020
About 5 months ago

Shock electricity bill for void period?

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Shock electricity bill for void period?

I live in London and have a rental property in Preston, Lancs which, given its distance from me, is managed by a letting agent.

Last year it was void for a few months and some time later I received an electricity bill of around £720 for the void period.

The agent says it is my problem, but I think they should have checked that the electricity was off. After all, I pay them to act on my behalf and look after my interests.

I have spoken to the electricity company who are sympathetic and sent the bill to the agent because they think it is their mistake.

Who is right?

Frances



Comments

Neil Patterson

11:05 AM, 20th April 2020
About 5 months ago

Dear Frances,

Yes you are correct the agent does work on your behalf and you can complain to the Redress scheme they belong to.

However you are still ultimately responsible and most important is this does not happen again. Do you have any idea what was left on to cause such a massive bill?

david porter

10:02 AM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

When the proerty is vacated read the meter?

Dave Driver

10:39 AM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

Is it an estimated bill? It could be massively over the real figure. Read the meters now and check.

There will be standing charges though.

Gunga Din

10:42 AM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

Is the bill actual or estimated?

I'm never surprised to see, on a landlord's supply bill of about £7.00 per month, an annual prediction of £800.00 or similar. The suppliers often don't know what they're doing.

And how long was the void period? £720 is more than I use in my house, in a year.

reader

13:01 PM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

Hello
Some suppliers are better than others in these situations. If someone on your behalf photographs each meter together with the relevant meter number shown on the face of the meter most companies will accept this as an accurate reading to adjust the bill accordingly. From that point you will be able to ascertain your true liability and if necessary chase the agent for a contribution to the costs.
Send them a copy of last tenancy and any checkout report together with meter photographs of the tenency end date. This proves your start date and their end date. False readings are sometimes given by those leaving.
My experience of British Gas, Scottish Power, Shell Energy and Spark have not been good. Make sure you keep an electronic record. Watch out for their debt collection agents they are truly crafty and ruthless. Stand your ground once you know the facts from the reading.

I'm am quite keen on prepayment smart meters. Most companies will install them.

AlanM

14:22 PM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 20/04/2020 - 11:05
The property was void for 4 months and the agent says they turned everything off. It was 3 months after it had been let again before the agent told us anything about it, and that was by emailing us a copy of Eon’s letter to them threatening action, and asking us to pay.

AlanM

14:29 PM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by david porter at 21/04/2020 - 10:02
Eon have the check out meter reading and the bill is for the 4 month void period. The issue is that Kingswood claim they had turned everything off but clearly didn’t. Eon said they must have turned the heating on full instead of turning it off.

Pete England - PaTMa Property Management

14:45 PM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

Surely when the previous Tenant left the premise, the agent confirmed the reading. We do this on the inventory by using http://www.patma.co.uk/?ref=Lovat. You should then get charged about 25p per day per service and very few units unless the power is not switched until the next tenant moves in. Energy companies do get their billing wrong and tenants also supply incorrect readings, but a bill for £720 is a whole years power charge when occupied so its worth querying with the agent and following up with the energy company.

reader

15:45 PM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

Kingswood often conduct their lettings on a rent to rent basis turning a home into HMO, or least they used to.

I guess you did not have a smart meter to show the usage pattern. I was not a fan of them until I was chased for a £1900 bill of a former tenant and then chased for estimated readings from a house in lock down half way through a building project.

Raj_aryan

22:34 PM, 21st April 2020
About 5 months ago

Please check with management company in case they have mixed up the accounts if this is leasehold property.

I have always wondered one thing....Does it impact your credit report if you as a landlord is not reachable or utility companies keep sending the bills and recovery letters on landlords name at the rental address for example which are you completely unaware of?

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