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My landlord is making us change gas and electric suppliers!!

(50 Posts)
frazzle26 Sun 04-Sep-11 14:33:45

The other week all the tenants in our house (three flats) received a letter saying that the landlord has decided that he wants all his houses to be changed over to Southern Electric. Initially, I was not bothered about this as I am already with Southern Electric. However, after receiving a letter from them saying that my gas bill is going up from £45 to £53 per month it suddenly hit home that once this move is made I am stuck with this company and will never be able to shop around.

Am I right to be rather annoyed??

ChippingIn Sun 04-Sep-11 14:34:48

Do you split the bill or do you all have your own bills?

frazzle26 Sun 04-Sep-11 14:37:10

We all pay our own bills. It is not a shared house. We are all families/couples.

pigletmania Sun 04-Sep-11 14:38:34

That does not sound right, he should have no right to tell you what Supplier to use if you are paying your own bills hmm

Empusa Sun 04-Sep-11 14:38:42

I don't think he can insist on that confused

StuckInTheMiddleWithYou Sun 04-Sep-11 14:39:12

It's none of his business who you choose to buy gas and electric from.

How is this arrangement justified/described to you? Why is it done like this? It is very odd!

Thumbwitch Sun 04-Sep-11 14:39:36

errr, can he do that? And why on earth would your bill go up if you are already with them? confused

I mean, I am a LL, my tenants have inherited the suppliers I used but I would have thought they could change it if they wanted to - perhaps this is something I am missing somewhere!

FabbyChic Sun 04-Sep-11 14:39:59

If the bills are in your name you can use whatever supplier you like. Unless it is of course written in your rent agreement that you use a supplier of his choosing.

Birdsgottafly Sun 04-Sep-11 14:40:34

Unless it is stated in your tenancy agreement, your landlord cannot tell you what supplier to use.

You enter into a contract with the supplier, you cannot be forced into it, you have to agree to the suppliers terms and conditions, so it is upto you to choose, not your lanslord.

Thumbwitch Sun 04-Sep-11 14:41:12

Talk to your letting agent (if you have one) and check your contract.

OddBoots Sun 04-Sep-11 14:42:22

I'd be tempted to ask if he has secured you some kind of bulk discount and if not is he prepared to pay the difference between Southern Electric and the cheapest supplier you could be using.

nocake Sun 04-Sep-11 14:42:32

I agree with the other posts, I don't think he can make you use a certain supplier. We allos our tenants to use whoever they want, although we ask them not to use British Gas as we've had problems with them in the past.

Check your tenancy agreement and if it doesn't say anything about utilities suppliers tell him to get lost and change to whichever supplier you want.

frazzle26 Sun 04-Sep-11 14:44:16

We just literally got a letter out of the blue informing us we were being changed over to SE. It's even got a Direct debit mandate enclosed and a leaflet extoling the values of SE!! Myself and my neighbour were joking that maybe he's in cahoots with SE or something!!

LovelyCuppa Sun 04-Sep-11 14:45:04

Thumb the bills for gas and electric are going up hugely at the moment. We paid four times as much for gas and electric from Sep 2010-Sep 2011 vs Sep 2009-Sep 2010 and it's due to go up again. Bastard nPower! (they're no worse than anyone else but still).

Have switched yesterday to Eon and will move again in a year.

OP YANBU. You pay the bill so you can choose who supplies. I am wondering though if it's not a supply issue so much as a meter issue. I vaguely remember something about meters being property of gas/electric companies.

Empusa Sun 04-Sep-11 14:45:16

"We just literally got a letter out of the blue informing us we were being changed over to SE."

He definitely cannot do that! He cannot sign a contract on your behalf.

StuckInTheMiddleWithYou Sun 04-Sep-11 14:46:02

Check your tenancy agreement.

Otherwise, I'd inform your landlord that you prefer to make your own arrangements.

Does the letter say why he's attempting this?

Thumbwitch Sun 04-Sep-11 14:46:48

Honestly, check your tenancy agreement. Even if you sign up with them, which yuo don't need to because you're already with them, then if your tenancy agreement says that you can choose your own supplier, you should be able to do so later. (Although how that would work in a shared building, I don't know!)

LovelyCuppa Sun 04-Sep-11 14:47:10

X-posted. Ignore my meter theory. Direct debit form??!! What a liberty!

StuckInTheMiddleWithYou Sun 04-Sep-11 14:48:09

I live in a shared building and it works in exactly the same way as if it were a street of houses. This is all very odd!

LovelyCuppa Sun 04-Sep-11 14:49:35

Each flat will have it's own supply reference and meter. I know this because when we sold our London flat that part of a conversion (four flats, one building) they hadn't set up the meters properly and we had to give the solicitor thousands to hold for backdated bills until it was all sorted out.

Thumbwitch Sun 04-Sep-11 14:49:48

LovelyCuppa - that's a serious increase! shock
It's bad enough here (Australia) but that's quite frightening. We've installed solar electricity (had solar hot water done last year) to try and reduce our ongoing costs because of the threatened hikes - first one happened the day after we installed our solar system. We're not off grid (that would have cost us around AU$45,000 (£30k) and our roof isn't big enough!) but we're contributing to our own usage.

LovelyCuppa Sun 04-Sep-11 14:50:30

Bet he's getting cashback or similar on the transfer ;)

StuckInTheMiddleWithYou Sun 04-Sep-11 14:52:54

Good point LovelyCuppa.

This has intrigued me, am genuinely interested to know how this has come about.

LovelyCuppa Sun 04-Sep-11 14:54:14

You can't move in Surrey for solar panel companies at the mo and there's all kinds of incentives being bandied around but my titchy roof and miserable summer would leave me with about enough electric to boil a kettle. Once.

I expect Oz is marginally sunnier grin

ViviPru Sun 04-Sep-11 14:54:20

That's like telling you you have to get your bigshop from Sainsbury's instead of Tesco.

As others have said - it's entirely down to what's stated in your contract. I'm a simultaneous landlord & tenant. The contract we prepared for our tenants does not include any clauses about suppliers. The contract we signed as tenants has a clause about not changing suppliers without notifying the landlord (oops - only noticed this 2 months after we'd switched)

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