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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

U-switch if you want to!

Most tenancy agreements will have a clause in them preventing tenants swapping energy supplier or utility supplier without prior written approval.  It's there for a reason.  The reason being so that as a landlord you know if there is a problem who you need to contact.  There are after all literally hundreds of different suppliers inhabiting the market and trying to track down in the case of an emergency which one supplies your buy-to-let is a nightmare.  Believe me I've tried!

Tracing the electricity and gas supplier to your buy-to-let property

To trace who supplies your buy-to-let property with gas you will need to contact the M Number Enquiry Line (formerly Transco) on 0870 608 1524.  To find the electricity company contact your local electricity distribution company.

More problematic in my experience is when tenants look to move telecoms suppliers.  This can result in your property resembling the back panel of the space shuttle with the amount of junction boxes and residual wiring.

Should tenants be allowed to swap utility suppliers

A recent report by U-switch highlighted that 'apparently' one in ten tenants were prevented from switching their utility provider by their landlord.  Personally, I can see no reason to prevent my tenants from switching and potentially benefiting from cheaper or better service.  Could a landlord stop them changing?  Probably not as this would be considered to be an Unfair Terms and Condition and subject to challenge through the courts.

So tenants - U-switch if you want to but just tell the landlord first!

Landlord insurance - specialist brokers

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very confusing article.

First you provide a good reason why tenants shouldn't be allowed to switch. By the last paragraph you seem to have completely changed your mind.

In the first paragraph you say finding who supplies gas & electricity is a "nightmare", then you provide a very simple way to do it.

Is it a nightmare or not?

Should landlords allow switching or not?

Make your mind up!