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  • Property-a-holics

    Letting Agent - overcharging on utilities



    Hi

    My son signed up to a year in a house with a letting agent in Bristol. Student house, 4 occupiers. All good. The Letting Agent has generally already been a bit of a nightmare. They have them a separate agreement for utilities, tv licence and broadband, which I am sorry to say I didn't look at closely.

    Turns out they are being charged an exhorbitant rip-off amount. Making some assumptions about typical gas/elec prices etc (which are capped to a max usage and pay more above that), I calculate that the ACTUAL cost of all the utilities all-in for them is £2,250 MAX.

    The Bills Inclusive agreement (separate to the Tenancy agreement) is... just over £5,000.

    And we're 10 days in to the contract and no broadband installed yet anyway!

    Is there anything we can do?

    Thanks!

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    Sorry to hear of your plight.

    Contact the letting agent and ask for their complaints procedure and follow that.

    If you do not get any resolution with that, you can report them to Trading Standards and also to the independent redress scheme that they are required by law to be a member of.

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    Hi,

    I understand landlords/agents can't profit from supplying utilities.

    Check with Ofgem.

    James

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    Thank for your responses! Yes I will look to make a complaint.

    I thought many Letting Agents took a bit of a kickback (used fivers in a brown paper envelope) for directing business such as Utilities to certain companies? Just in this case they are taking a bit more than that!! So they're not profiting from supplying utilities but making a profit from their kind introduction to a third party?

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    Letting agents and landlords can profit from supply. Ofgem have not fully implemented the powers they have on this and small suppliers can make a profit.

    If the deal was mis-sold or was misleadingly portrayed in some way or is so ridiculous that it is unfair then you may be able to beat it back under the Comsumer Protection From Unfair Trading Regulations. I would suggest threatening a report to trading standards and a claim and see if that gets you anywhere.

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    David Smith
    Landlord & Tenant Solicitor
    Anthony Gold Solicitors

    Find me on LinkedIn: uk.linkedin.com/in/dsnsmith

    All opinions are my own and do not reflect those of my firm. No comment made should be taken as legal advice and you should consult a solicitor or other legal professional for advice on your specific situation.