What are my energy rights as a tenant?
Under Ofgem rules if a tenant is directly responsible for paying gas and electricity bills they have the right to choose their own energy supplier and the landlord or letting agent should not unreasonably prevent this.
The landlord has the right to choose the energy supplier when he is directly responsible for paying the energy bills, this might include:
- where the landlord pays the energy supplier directly and reclaims the money from the tenant
- where the landlord incorporates the cost of energy within the accommodation charges
- where the landlord assumes responsibility for the energy supply between tenancies
There may be circumstances when a letting agent or landlord has a preferred supplier which should be detailed within the tenancy agreement. Ofgem rules state that tenants should be made aware of any tie-ins with specific suppliers together with the charging and tariff details.
Regardless of any arrangements the landlord or letting agent has with an energy supplier you still have the right to switch supplier if you are responsible for paying the energy bills.
If you are entering into a tenancy agreement or are a current tenant then here are some tips regarding your energy supply:
- always take a meter reading when moving into a rented property and supply this reading to the landlord or letting agent
- check your tenancy agreement for any clauses regarding energy suppliers
- contact the current energy supplier to check the tariff you are on and find out if there is a cheaper option
- if you have been in your current property for a while then you can find out if you could get a better energy deal here - How to find the best energy deal
- if you intend to switch supplier make sure you inform your landlord or letting agent
- if you have a problem switching follow the complaints guidelines here
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