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Backed into a corner having to provide Electric to someone who rents off my Landlord.

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Boy oh boy did I walk into this one.

 

Just before Christmas last year my Landlord leased an outbuilding on this plot of land to a local Taxi Company. Knowing as I did that the electricity for said building came from my fusebox, I left it switched off until one day when the owner of said Taxi firm asked me if I wouldn't mind switching on 'his' electric.

 

I pointed out that as the electric was being supplied from the fusebox within my house, I would switch it on just this once as a courtesy but he would really need to speak to the Landlord about his supply as it wasn't my responsibility to provide him with electric. To this he got very shirty and said his rent included Electric and Water and if I had a problem with it, that it was me that needed to take it up with the Landlord...and that was when the misery began.:sad:

 

I know I should've taken more decisive action right then but I didn't want to rock the boat with my Landlord as he can be a stubborn chap and would think nothing of evicting me on a whim.

 

Fast forward 3 months and my first electric bill hit the doormat...shortly followed by me after I read it...WOW...my usage had shot up from £60 per month to in excess of £120. I immediately raised my concerns with my Landlord and asked if he could supply an individual meter for the Taxi Company as I simply couldn't keep up with such a jump in consumption. My Landlord's answer to my pleas was to reduce my rent by £30 per month. This still didn't really help as this chap was already proven to be using twice that. Then another 3 months elapse and my bill as expected was over double what it was for the same period the year before. It had now got into the realms of me being unable to pay the bill. I raised this with the Landlord who asked to see me and all my electric bills so far. So off I pop full of optimism for this meeting where I would be able to show in black and white the unacceptable extra usage that I simply couldn't afford to pay for. Landlord then allocates a further £20 reduction without even looking at the bills I had brought.

 

The electric company by this stage had decided that the only way I could pay the remainder was by having a Prepay meter installed...hardly fair being as it wasn't my mess in the 1st place and had anyone listened to me from the outset it would've been a hardship that I shouldn't have had to endure.

 

So there I am happily paying off my debt at £5 per week until my EON Energy Fit monitor arrived...And then things really got interesting. Being as it shows your consumption and cost in realtime, it's a rather shocking eye-opener. To put it into perspective, as I look at it now, it tells me that I am currently using 230 Watts of power...that is my whole house including PC, Fridge but nothing else. If I switch on my 2 front room lights (energy saving bulbs) it jumps to around 255 Watts. If I put on the oven or the kettle, one can expect to see it jump to around 2500 Watts (2.5kw) for a brief spell.

 

Now bear in mind even in the evening with the TV and a few lights on through the house, I'm only drawing around 350 Watts. So when the Taxi fellow arrives at the outbuilding, I can see that the usage jumps from a pleasing 350 Watts to 900 Watts immediately by virtue of the dozen or more fluorescent strip lights within the outbuilding rented by the Taxi Company...It's a little scary when one considers I can run the whole house on a third of that.

 

Ok so that's just the residual draw...which is bad enough but in the mornings it will regularly read 6kw for over an hour which upsets me really as I could run my household for 20 hours on what the Taxi Company use in 1 hour.

 

I feel that I have backed myself into a corner and now feel that I'm being bullied into going along with this against my better judgement. Is there anything I can do?

 

I've tried to steer clear of anything official and tried to get the Taxi Man to see things from my point of view but it justs end up at loggerheads with him getting aggressive and making out that it's me that has the problem.

 

In summary...I couldn't care if he was burning 6kw 24/7....my concern is and has always been that I don't want to be responsible for it as £50 per month rent relief is cold comfort with this chap continuing his unbridled usage.

 

I know deep down that I should've taken more decisive action but at any time when I've raised these concerns with my Landlord, I have been accused of being awkward. I am happy to pay my full rent but I can't go on subsidising this chap's consumption at this rate. It's simply unfair. Does anyone have any ideas? I was trying to steer clear of CAB or telling my Landlord about my rights as they would be rights I would be exercising from a cold and wet pavement after being evicted. I am at a loss to know what to do or how to handle this :-(

 

I thank you all in advance for any assistance you can give in this minefield I have walked into:help:

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In my humble opinion, you have no obligation to leave the electricity switched on to that building.

 

Simply kill it until such time that the supplies are split.

 

It is not up to you to take it up with the landlord, it is up to that other resident.

 

Also, was the outbuilding not let to you as part of the property anyway?


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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Thanks ever so much for getting back to me.

 

Well the plot of land that the house is on is also occupied by 2 other businesses in addition to the Taxi fellow but as they have their own meter I have never had any problems with them.

 

The outbuilding itself does not form part of my rental. I feel that by trying to come across as accommodating and easygoing, I've backed myself into a very hard to get out of corner.

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I would send a letter, polite but firm, stating that you have no obligation to pay for any utilities for this other tenant.

 

As such, you will give them 7 days to make alternative arrangements (such as getting a meter installed) or you will unfortunately have no option but to switch off that circuit.

 

I would send this to both the landlord and the other tenant (taxi firm).


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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I would send a letter, polite but firm, stating that you have no obligation to pay for any utilities for this other tenant.

 

As such, you will give them 7 days to make alternative arrangements (such as getting a meter installed) or you will unfortunately have no option but to switch off that circuit.

 

I would send this to both the landlord and the other tenant (taxi firm).

 

Thank you so much Mr Shed.:humble::humble::humble:

I have drafted up a letter. Do you mind if I copy and paste it here for your perusal?

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The letter;

 

Dear Sirs:

This letter is to clear the air hopefully about the issues regarding the supply of Electric to the outbuilding occupied by ******.

I have tried to be the best tenant I can be during my tenure here as the last thing I want is to be an inconvenience or a hindrance and can only apologise for the few occasions when there have been brief arrears in my rent. The reasons why, I can assure you were not of my own making but merely a by-product of getting into excessive arrears with my Electricity supplier due to a sudden high drain on my Electricity supply.

I am happy with where I live. I enjoy a peaceful existence with my neighbours. I try to help them out wherever possible and generally try to be a good neighbour. I have also tried wherever possible to carry out my own repairs to the property at my own cost which I’ve been only too happy to do. I feel, however that the ongoing matter of my responsibility of supplying power to the unit in question has forced me into a corner I never wanted to be in the first place and now portrays me as awkward or uncompromising which I can assure you couldn’t be further from the truth.

My concern has only ever been that I wasn’t responsible for supplying the power to the unit for that shed as I had already experienced firsthand and at considerable personal cost the trouble this responsibility has brought. When I first highlighted this issue on receipt of my first much larger than usual electricity bill shortly after ****** tenure commenced, it was my desire to have ****** connected up to the supply at ****** or have a separate meter installed for the unit in order that I wouldn’t be liable for any excessive consumption on the part of ******. This however was not an option favoured by any other parties involved in and the position I was asked to take ultimately resulted in me receiving 2 further quarterly bills that were in excess of double what they were for the same period in the previous year hence the brief period where I was frantically trying to juggle my rent obligations while trying to pay a very large Electricity bill to avoid disconnection. This manifested itself into a very short period where I was in arrears of approximately 3 weeks.

Sadly and somewhat of a black mark against me, I feel, was the decision of my Electricity supplier to insist that I have a Prepayment meter installed in order that they could recoup the outstanding balance and bring matters back under control. Recently as part of an Energy Saving campaign from my Electricity supplier, I was provided with a monitor that shows instantaneous consumption and cost and it has highlighted some results that to be honest have me very worried with another Winter on the way.

To put things into perspective, on an average evening running this household rarely draws more than 350 Watts residual power which would cost around £24 per month before VAT. This is for a TV, Computer, several light bulbs and a fridge. This isn’t taking into account using the oven, boiling a few kettles or using the washing machine which would obviously be a higher drain in wattage but for a very brief period of time so on that basis I would allocate a further £15 per month if that. So now because I can see in real-time my consumption and cost when different appliances are switched off and on, it came as a surprise to me just how much more of a drain on resources ****** actually are. For example, as previously mentioned my residual power draw is usually no more than 350 to 400 Watts and even in high drain usage rarely more than 2500 watt (2.5KW) and I am by no means what one would consider being extremely miserly in terms of my usage....this is simply what the house costs to run on average.

However this residual draw will jump to in excess of 900 Watts the minute the lights go on down in the unit which at this time of year is getting earlier and for a more prolonged duration. I also have to take into account the higher spikes in current draw by the various electrical appliances in use in the unit to which end figures as high as 6000 Watts (6.5KW) will be regularly logged for over an hour. In one hour the unit can often use enough electricity to run this whole house for 20 hours. With those kinds of figures, it really doesn’t take long for things to spiral out of control.

In summary, my concern isn’t the amount of electricity being used by ****** but more the fact that I am responsible for the upkeep of supply regardless. I do not wish to be thought of awkward because it is certainly not my intention to inconvenience others. I simply don’t want to be held responsible for the excessive consumption and I feel that I’ve been misinterpreted. I am only too happy to help ****** and have gone as far as offering to share the cost of Energy Saving light bulbs and even offered to undertake rerouting ****** cable in order to pick up the supply from ****** where no such problems exist. These actions would solve the problem completely. Both these actions have met with unfavourable comments and unwarranted aggression from a situation that I have done everything to avoid as I knew it would ultimately make me responsible whether I liked it or not.

I ask you both please just hear my side of the story and would hope that we can all come to a satisfactory resolution.

Yours sincerely,

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In my humble opinion (again!), too long.

 

If I get chance tonight I'll draft up what I would put.


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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I agree; far too long. The lack of paragraphs makes it hard to read. In addition, you are trying too hard to show that you are being reasonable. It hasn't worked so far, so you need to concentrate on the main points.

 

Dear Sir

 

I am writing to you about the electricity supply to the outbuilding occupied by X.

 

You are aware that the electricity supply to the outbuilding goes through the fusebox in the property of which I am the tenant. X's electricity consumption, which to date I have had to pay for, has now led to several occasions where I have been in arrears with rent on a few occasions. Since I consider myself a responsible tenant, this has caused me considerable anxiety.

 

You have made downward adjustments in rent to reflect the electricity supply to the outbuilding, but the amounts have not been equal to the amount of power consumed by X, leaving me out of pocket.

 

I have now been placed into a situation where, due to my being unable to meet the payment demands of the electricity supplier, I had to agree to the installation of a prepay meter in order to avoid being disconnected.

 

I feel sure you will agree that this situation is unsatisfactory and cannot continue. The supply of electricity to the building rented by X is a matter which should not involve me and must be resolved between you and X.

 

Under the terms of my contract with you, I am responsible only for payment of power used by myself; I am no longer willing to pay for any electricity consumed by X. Please arrange for the supply to X's outbuilding to be separate to that of the property I rent, as soon as possible. In the meantime, I suggest that by utilising the power consumption meter recently installed by (electricity supplier), I will record the amount of power consumed by X and reduce my rental payments by that amount each month. I will provide you with details since you will probably wish to recover the amount from X. In the alternative, I will remove the relevant fuse so that X cannot incur further cost to me.

 

Please let me have your response as soon as possible, and within 7 days.

 

Yours faithfully

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