Energy Supply Quick Guide For Tenants

Tenants

Whether moving into a new home or already residing in a property, you must know your rights and obligations as a tenant.

Understanding your energy supply contract is one of the most crucial parts of renting. This article will provide you with the necessary information you need. You can also check out Business Energy Comparison to get  view of various energy suppliers for commercial spaces. You can find oe that will fit the requirements in your rented apartementd or shared units.

What are your rights concerning energy supply as a tenant?

Whether you rent directly or through a rental agent, your landlord must provide heating and hot water through safe, operational appliances at all times.

If your heating or hot water supply fails, your landlord must offer repairs or replacements within a reasonable time,’ according to the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 section 11.

This implies 24 hours for emergency repairs, such as central heating failure during the winter or hot water failure at any time of year.

Any longer, and the fault becomes a hazard, putting your landlord in violation of the tenancy agreement’s ‘keep the property in repair and free from hazard’ clause.

However, because your landlord is only legally obligated to make repairs if reported, always follow up phone calls with an email for your records to show when you mentioned the issue.

How do you know if the gas supply is safe?

The law requires you to give a gas safety certificate at the beginning of your tenancy.

This is a formal proof that the property’s gas equipment, such as ovens and heaters, are safe, as confirmed by a Gas Safety-registered engineer. It also ensures that air flows freely via flues, chimneys, and vents.

Gas safety requirements apply to all types of tenancies, including student houses, residences of multiple occupations, and even situations where you sublet from another renter or lodge in your landlord’s home.

Gas safety tests must be performed every 12 months, in addition to at the beginning of your tenancy. This is because your contract as a tenant requires you to provide access for this purpose.

If your landlord does not follow gas legislation, you can report them to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and they may face fines or even prosecution.

What about electricity?

If you move into a new rental home in England after July 1, 2020, your landlord must do an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) on the property.

These examinations look for faulty or worn wiring that could cause shocks or electrical fires and are currently only required for houses with many occupants.

When the new rules go into effect, you must grant access to the inspection. However, Covid-19 only prevents assessments from taking place as long as they follow official guidelines on social distancing.

If you already rent privately in England, the rule will apply to existing tenancies beginning on April 1, 2021.

They will not require electrical checks if you are a lodger or have a long lease of seven years or more.

Again, if your landlord fails to follow the guidelines, you can report them to the HSE.

Landlords in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland must regularly test the power supply status to their homes.

What’s the purpose of an Energy Performance Certificate?

When you move into a privately leased home in the UK, you must obtain a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).

This document specifies the property’s energy efficiency on a scale of A to G.

All new tenancies must have an EPC score of E or higher; if it is an F or G, the landlord must take steps to improve it.

The minimum E rating’ regulations have also applied to existing tenancies since April 2020. (except Scotland, where they come into force in October).

So if you are unhappy with the energy efficiency of your present rental home, verify the EPC and contact your landlord if the score needs to be improved.

If you need help finding the EPC for your property, you can get it for free by entering the property address on this government register.

However, there are several exceptions to the minimum E’ rating laws, such as if your rental home is listed, protected, or located in a conservation area.

How can an EPC help you as a tenant?

The more energy-efficient your home is, the lower your energy expenses will be.

This is especially significant if you are renting a portion of a large house, a house share, or a home of numerous occupations where someone inhabits the property around the clock and energy consumption is high.

Frequently Asked Questions

While you are living at the property, it’s inevitable to have several questions. Listed below are the top six questions asked by tenants about energy supply.

What if there is a prepayment meter on the property?

Some properties have prepayment meters where you subsidize your gas and electricity before you use them. This means that you need to check your meter before you use any energy or contact the landlord or agent if there are any problems with your meter.

If there is none, is it a good idea?

It depends on your situation and personal preferences. For example, some people prefer having more control over their electricity bills, while others may find that they need more time topping up their accounts.

Can you opt to have a smart meter fitted?

Yes, you can choose to have a smart meter installed. But if you live in a flat with shared meters, you can only get one if your landlord agrees.

Can you choose the energy supplier?

If you are a tenant, the landlord will choose your energy supplier. This is because landlords can decide who provides their properties with gas and electricity.

If you want to switch suppliers, talk to your landlord first. They can lower your bills by switching suppliers as well.

What happens if you don’t pay your energy bills?

If you’re in rent arrears, the landlord may ask for their money before paying the gas or electricity company. Then, they might cut off your supply if there needs to be more money.

If you need to catch up with your bills and the utility company still needs to cut you off, you should contact them as soon as possible to arrange a payment plan. This usually involves paying a set monthly amount until you clear your debt.

If you’re struggling with your finances, it’s best to discuss it with your landlord or housing association as early as possible so that they can help you reach a solution.

Because if you don’t pay your energy bills, you may face legal action from the company that supplies your gas or electricity. This could include court orders and bailiffs coming to collect unpaid accounts.