Tenants Paying over the odds for Utilities because of Illegal Landlord Stipulations

31 August 2012 Categories: News

Tenants Paying over the odds for Utilities because of Illegal Landlord Stipulations

According to a recent uSwitch survey, one in ten private tenants is paying more than they need to for gas and electricity because their landlord has illegally stopped them from switching to a cheaper provider. The survey showed that 3% of tenants have a clause in their tenancy agreement that means they have to consult their landlord before swapping, even though permission can’t legally be refused, while an additional 7% were told explicitly that they were not allowed to switch providers.

An additional 22% said that they weren’t confident enough to approach their landlord regarding swapping utility providers because their particular landlords ‘don’t like to be bothered by tenants’.

The overall results of the survey showed that just 38% of tenants had indeed swapped to a cheaper utility provider, making savings of up to £420 per year. Just under one third of the respondents didn’t realise they had the option of swapping and the remainder didn’t think they would be in the rental property long enough to make swapping worthwhile.

Director of consumer policy at uSwitch, Ann Robinson, commented on the results of the survey by saying “With more and more people renting, it’s vital that people don’t feel that being a tenant means relinquishing the right to control their household bills. The fact is that if your name is on the bill you have the right to shop around for a better energy deal”.