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High gas bill - if boiler was problem, who is liable?


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I have been rentig a large, single glazed property for a year(Lease runs till July 2008). When i took out lease I asked what utility bills were like and was told average....Gas Boiler was replaced earlier this year due to me asking landlord if he had a Gas Cert and any ga maintenance due to me having toddlers and previous problems with cooker and other stuff. Anyway they came out and they basically condemned boiler cos it was over 10 years old....He got boiler replaced shortly after...

 

I then queried my gas bills with British Gas, and after them testing my meter but not telling me the results, have now had my direct debit increased from £72.50 to £299. I am a single mum who has recently had to give up work and cannot afford this. I use gas to heat water and radiators. Cooking and everything else is electric. Currently since I stopped working full time my gas is on for heating for approx 2 hours a day, and for water about 4 hours as shower is not electric and have toddlers who need bathed - its a huge water tank (Listed building, 3 floors)...am seriously considering asking gas to disconnect my supply and relying on the immersion and perhaps calor gas heaters in the hall to provide some heat to the kids rooms when its chilly(High ceilings) but not sure if this goes against lease? My landlord doesnt know I am not working yet - since splitting with husband due to his actions and mind games I dont like confrontation - and have just spent last few months dealing with a mice epidemic. My landlord isnt easy to deal with i.e he doesnt like spending money....and when I previsouly asked to get out of lease he wanted £9000 - 6 months rent, plus council tax plus his fees for agent to find a new tenant.

Nikkiandmidgets Vs BOS (3) - S.A.R sent 11/09/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Capital One (2) - S.A.R sent 11/09/06, Prelims sent 20/10/06, LBA's sent 16/11/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Citi credit card - S.A.R sent 11/09/06, Prelim sent 9/10/06, LBA sent 28/10/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Halifax - S.A.R sent 11/09/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Egg (4) - S.A.R. sent 20/10/06

 

Nikkiandmidget Vs Littlewoods (3) - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Blackhorse - Prelim sent 20/10/06 requesting £125 charges to be refunded. LBA sent 16/11/06.

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Welcome Finance (Macadam Finance) - S.A.R and C.C.A request sent 20/10/06

 

My Mum Vs Halifax - S.A.R sent 11/09/06

My Mum Vs Capital One - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

My Mum Vs Citi - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

My Mum Vs SLC - S.A.R and C.C.A sent 09/10/06

 

Husband Vs BOS (3) - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

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My landlord isnt easy to deal with i.e he doesnt like spending money....and when I previsouly asked to get out of lease he wanted £9000 - 6 months rent, plus council tax plus his fees for agent to find a new tenant.

 

 

Your landlord wasnt entitled to this - only to the rent, not the council tax or agent fees.

 

With regards the gas supply, you can get it disconnected, but you will be liable for reconnection fees should any exist.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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The £9000 was instead of him charging me for rest of lease - at that point 15 months at £1000 a month..said he is a businessman and didnt see why he should loose any money because I was struggling with higher than anticipated bills and problems with childcare due to high bills restricting my cash flow and the ongoing mouse infestation we had....still waiting for EH to check bait traps and see if all bait has been taken ....again....although havent noticed any for last coupleof weeks so fingers crossed.

Nikkiandmidgets Vs BOS (3) - S.A.R sent 11/09/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Capital One (2) - S.A.R sent 11/09/06, Prelims sent 20/10/06, LBA's sent 16/11/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Citi credit card - S.A.R sent 11/09/06, Prelim sent 9/10/06, LBA sent 28/10/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Halifax - S.A.R sent 11/09/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Egg (4) - S.A.R. sent 20/10/06

 

Nikkiandmidget Vs Littlewoods (3) - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Blackhorse - Prelim sent 20/10/06 requesting £125 charges to be refunded. LBA sent 16/11/06.

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Welcome Finance (Macadam Finance) - S.A.R and C.C.A request sent 20/10/06

 

My Mum Vs Halifax - S.A.R sent 11/09/06

My Mum Vs Capital One - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

My Mum Vs Citi - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

My Mum Vs SLC - S.A.R and C.C.A sent 09/10/06

 

Husband Vs BOS (3) - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

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Hi there, it may be the case that the property has had estimates for well over the year you have been there so do you know what your meter reading was when you moved on as you may be paying for someone elses use before you moved in. Has the meter in question been changed in that time as another common problem is wrong the wrong index taken as the new meters are 5 digits instead of 4 digits, youd be surprised how often that happens.

What I would say to you is that it is very UNLIKELY you would have to increase your D\D's to that amount if you were short paying for only a year.

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That was my first problem and hence why getting accurate total bill has taken so long, meter readings on gas and electric were incorrect. This is supposed to be true readings now but she says bills are now looking like they are approx £500 a quarter but as I only have water on for aprox 4-5 hours due to baths and showers, and heating for approx 2 hours a day that seems excessive so may just have to switch boiler off and use immersion instead as will be only way I can reduce my backlog owing...just wish showers were electric and not using water from tank...

Nikkiandmidgets Vs BOS (3) - S.A.R sent 11/09/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Capital One (2) - S.A.R sent 11/09/06, Prelims sent 20/10/06, LBA's sent 16/11/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Citi credit card - S.A.R sent 11/09/06, Prelim sent 9/10/06, LBA sent 28/10/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Halifax - S.A.R sent 11/09/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Egg (4) - S.A.R. sent 20/10/06

 

Nikkiandmidget Vs Littlewoods (3) - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Blackhorse - Prelim sent 20/10/06 requesting £125 charges to be refunded. LBA sent 16/11/06.

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Welcome Finance (Macadam Finance) - S.A.R and C.C.A request sent 20/10/06

 

My Mum Vs Halifax - S.A.R sent 11/09/06

My Mum Vs Capital One - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

My Mum Vs Citi - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

My Mum Vs SLC - S.A.R and C.C.A sent 09/10/06

 

Husband Vs BOS (3) - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

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Its a Worcester Greenstar 40 CDi - not sure if its a condenser as landlord organised it all. There is a Huge supastor tank beside it (About 5 ft tall and no insulation on it - clothes dry really quick on the clothes airer in that small room) which landlord fitted when he bought house - gas guys said it was something to do with landlords plan to put bathroom facilities on top floor and there is a small tank lwhich says airfix and some numbers on it....

Nikkiandmidgets Vs BOS (3) - S.A.R sent 11/09/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Capital One (2) - S.A.R sent 11/09/06, Prelims sent 20/10/06, LBA's sent 16/11/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Citi credit card - S.A.R sent 11/09/06, Prelim sent 9/10/06, LBA sent 28/10/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Halifax - S.A.R sent 11/09/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Egg (4) - S.A.R. sent 20/10/06

 

Nikkiandmidget Vs Littlewoods (3) - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Blackhorse - Prelim sent 20/10/06 requesting £125 charges to be refunded. LBA sent 16/11/06.

 

Nikkiandmidgets Vs Welcome Finance (Macadam Finance) - S.A.R and C.C.A request sent 20/10/06

 

My Mum Vs Halifax - S.A.R sent 11/09/06

My Mum Vs Capital One - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

My Mum Vs Citi - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

My Mum Vs SLC - S.A.R and C.C.A sent 09/10/06

 

Husband Vs BOS (3) - S.A.R sent 20/10/06

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So it is a condensing boiler and will be far more efficient than the last boiler you had, the tank you refer to sounds like an unvented hot water tank and what you are seeing is the outside shell, the insulation is inside this shell. Still dosent sound right for what you have to pay!

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Nikki,

I'm not an expert, but it sounds like you (now) have a good quality boiler and a good quality, well-insulated hot water tank. My partner and I have 3 houses with Worcester boilers and they're reliable and efficient. The tank in my own house is similar to yours, and even if I'm away for a weekend it will stay warm enough without the boiler on for a hot shower when I get back.

 

I suggest you do some investigation to check to see if your system is working fine.

 

Turn off the boiler. Bath the toddlers, have your showers etc. Then read the gas meter. Turn the boiler on (hot water only). It should only run for less than an hour before it has fully heated the water. Then read the meter again. If it's a metric meter the dial should have moved only about 2 cubic metres which is about 25-30p of gas (I think).

 

Unless you have a lot of toddlers to bath, you shouldn't need the boiler on for 4 hours. That said, even if it is switched on for 4 hours it should stop burning gas once the hot water has reached the required temperature.

 

Electric is much more expensive than gas, so avoid the immersion heater unless you're sure the gas boiler is faulty.

 

I would suggest that £2000 a year is quite high, but not unbelievably high for a 3 storey poorly insulated house with high ceilings. Given that you say you are still using the heating now it suggests that you like the house quite warm.

 

Really you probably need the landlord to improve the insulation and draught-proofing on the house. I understand that you may not want to let your landlord know your situation, but if you are receiving benefits the landlord may be entitled to reduced cost insulation (if it is needed).

 

PS. Nothing necessarily wrong with a 10 year old boiler. My mum's is 20 years old and runs nicely.

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