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Gas / Electricity Estimate Bills - Other tenant refuses to pay!

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My daughter moved in to a property last September with 4 other tenants who all got on together.


Two of the tenants, right at the beginning of the tenancy told that they would not be in the property for 3 months in Jan, Feb and March as they would be on placement. It was agreed that they pay the rent but not put towards the gas and electricity (apart from the standing charges).


As they are all new to this my daughter came home for Easter not happy and unsure as to why the bill for Feb/Mar was £185 (one month) when all the others have been around £60 to £85.


I looked in to this and all the months apart from the first one have been Estimated readings apart from the end reading of this high bill which is an Actual reading.


I explained to her why and showed her all the previous months estimates and usage:


GAS not inc VAT

Period Previous Present Kwh Charges

19 Aug to 17 Sep 2012 9213 9219 A 67 £5.47

17 Sep to 18 Oct 2012 9219 A 9255 E 403 £24.46

18 Oct to 15 Nov 2012 9255 E 9322 E 750 £36.14

15 Nov to 18 Dec 2012 9322 E 9427 E 1175 £52.90

18 Dec to 17 Jan 2013 9427 E 9533 E 1186 £52.27

17 Jan to 14 Feb 2013 9533 E 9635 E 1142 £54.24

14 Feb to 13 Mar 2013 9635 E 9945 A 3478 £150.88


as you can see from above the usage in the above GAS (Electricity is separate which shows another £39 which makes it a total of £185) it is obvious that the last bill's usage should have really been split on the other bills as well if they had done the proper thing and given actual readings every month.


My daughter now understands and she has text the two that have been away. We know that there is no proof but common sense and it is obvious from looking at the figures. All we have asked is for them to pay £35 each towards this bill and the rest of this year they will have to do proper readings. One of the girls said OK but the other one is just been silly. Texts from her saying that the readings shows that they have to pay £150, etc. etc. etc., and it is what has been used!!. Spouting on about how her mum is a landlady so she does understand !!!!!


All we are asking is for a fair contribution of £35 from each of the two that have been away.


If she does not pay would we have any grounds to take to small claims court. I know it sounds silly but it is principle. It is just a fair, common sense request for them to contribute.


Thanks in advance



2007 - RECLAIMED over £4,000

in bank charges from Halifax Bank ;)

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Lisa, who compiled the monthly bills you refer to and is the monthly cash amount for the property or divided between Ts?

Whose name is on the gas & elec bills?

I follow the reasoning for asking for a further contribution from absent Ts but a little hard to enforce. A Judge may decide that the remaining Ts just cranked up the heating for longer (Dec to Apr was pretty cold) or an actual reading should have been taken at start and end of placement period.

I don't think text demands will prove fruitful, really all Ts should meet and discuss when they are all back together.

At least the 2 absent Ts paid their share of rent whilst away!

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I suggest that it is a small enough amount of money that it is a learning experience in negotiation and persuasion for your daughter, and maybe a lesson for the future in not trusting estimated readings (which often get people into a pickle when the readings are too low for too long).


I think that letting people get away with bills when they're away is a bad precedent, particularly when it involves the coldest months of the year. Bills do not go down by 50% when 50% of the tenants are away. What about if someone gets an evening job so they don't need the heating when they're on shift. Too late for that discussion here, though.

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