By Craig Smith

A little while ago, Steve from our office blogged about some of the issues he was having with a certain utility company, namelyUtility Warehouse. Well it seems they are still trying to overcharge for energy used in rental properties!

Incorrect MeterReadings

The usual process for our office when a tenant moves in or out of a home is to inform the relevant companies, in writing, of the correct readings and forwarding address. The property in question was no different where after a brief empty period, new tenants moved in and the emails sent off to the utility companies. We would normally expect to get any final bills within a few weeks, arrange for the payment to be made and everything can be forgotten about until next time.

Well, the bill came through with estimated readings! This basically means that the energy supplier hasn’t taken any notice whatsoever of the readings we have taken and made up their own readings. Surprise, surprise! They are usually always over-estimated and this case was no different, which meant that we need to send the correct readings over… again!

Lack of Contact

This all happened in August (2 months ago) and since then we have had no contact fromUtility Warehouseregarding this account. Until today. A letter arrives through our door from a debt collection agency chasing the outstanding amount of just over £20! (Now, you might think that arguing over such a small amount is silly but you should only pay for the energy you have used!)

Needless to say that due to the lack of contact and the usually less than helpful nature of some of the debt chasing staff, we have made contact & told them what we think of the service!

Not the Only One!

It may sound like I am singling out a single supplier here but the truth is that this seems to arise with numerous companies and some are worse than others. Which begs the question, how many people (not people, not just Landlords!) are out there that have been scared by these tactics and ended up paying more than they should have done?

Deemed Rates

Another big money-earner is the type of tariff the account is put onto. When you are living in a property it is easier to research cheaper rates for your energy bills but something that a lot of Landlords forget when a property is empty. This is particularly important if a property is left unoccupied for a longer period of time. We have had instances in the past where no energy has been used at all but standing charges still apply.

The Solution

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any way of making dealing with some of these companies any easier and sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and get on with it. By always informing any changes in writing, it gives a good backup should accounts not be updated as they should be. For now, we shall carry on…

One Thought on “Landlords Lose Money to Greedy Utility Companies

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