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Tenant costs under communal heating

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
6 replies 815 views
MlewilliamsMlewilliams Forumite
1 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
Hi, I am hoping to get some advice about tenant's obligations to pay towards the maintenance and future repairs of a communal heating system.

I have recently moved in to a 2-bed flat in a block of 75 that has a communal heating system. I do not own the flat, I am a tenant. I have recieved a bill for heating and hot water only for three months which comes to a total of £422.97 of which £109.01 are metered charges for heating/hot water used, and £313.96 are 'standing charges'.
I have spoken to the provider (Switch2) and they have confirmed that the standing charges cover
1) costs associated with repair, replacement, operation and maintenance of the infrastructure
2) a 'sinking fund' which is a regular contribution to a fund should the communal boiler need replacing in the future.

These standing charges are significant. They take my heating/hot water bills to £111 a month, whereas in previous properties in the same area of a similar size I have paid £62 a month for heating/hot water and electricity.

I was not told about these charges when I moved into the property. I have done some research, and I'm pretty sure that costs associated with maintenance, repair and replacement of boilers should fall to a landlord not a tenant, and therefore the Landlord should pick up these costs. Switch2 have advised that they have had queries in the past and they know that some Landlords do this.

Does anyone have any advice about my rights and obligations? Am I obliged to pay these costs, or should they fall to the landlord? In a usual property the landlord would pay for the maintenance of the boiler, and any replacement needed in the future, and my assumption is that the same principal should apply.

Any help gratefully recieved!
Thanks

Replies

  • dogshomedogshome Forumite
    3.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
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    This a 'District Heating Scheme' and I'm afraid you are stuck with it


    DHS's on the continent, notably in Germany, are efficient and cheap.
    No so in the UK, with privatisation there are almost no rules as to what the owners of such schemes can do or charge, so best advice is to sit out your lease term, and move
  • gsmlnxgsmlnx Forumite
    1.7K posts
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    Go to the Citizens Advice Bureau with your tenancy agreement and the energy bills. Ask for their opinion on what the terms of your tenancy say about the heating bills.
  • Hi Mlewilliams,
    I am stuck with same situation as yours and same provider.The Landlord is asking me to pay for the standing charges and the agent is not at all ready to speak up.

    Did you get anywhere with it?

    Thanks,
    harrow renter
  • savemoneysavemoney Forumite
    18.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
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    Op hasn't been back since 21/3. Your best starting your own thread to get a reply



    Hi Mlewilliams,
    I am stuck with same situation as yours and same provider.The Landlord is asking me to pay for the standing charges and the agent is not at all ready to speak up.

    Did you get anywhere with it?

    Thanks,
    harrow renter
  • edited 26 June 2019 at 1:23PM
    wild666wild666 Forumite
    422 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
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    edited 26 June 2019 at 1:23PM
    Basically the cost of using gas and electric fall on you but paying for the servicing and repair costs SHOULD fall on the landlord. If the heating failed it would be up to the landlord to fix it at their expense that's why they should have cover for this. This is unfair terms and conditions on the tenant they do not own the system. The only way a tenant could be made to pay for repairs is if they were responsible for the failure and as all you do is turn it on and off it would be up to the landlord to cover the costs.

    P.S.
    This is assuming you don't hold the leasehold to the property (flat) and are just a ordinary tenant paying rent.
    Someone please tell me what money is
  • SystemSystem
    177.7K posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Wow thats crazy amount for DH, i had that in my old flat with gentoo in sunderland all my heating and hot water was only £4 ish a week and before i moved out was reduced to £2 ish a week.

    I dont know how they can charge you that much when other places its basically free.
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