*the information in this article is aimed at students in shared accommodation via a landlord/letting agent rather than students living in halls.
With energy prices across the UK set to increase further in October,?you should look at your tenancy agreement to be certain you know what’s included.
Will the rise in energy costs affect you?
As a student in an ‘all-inclusive’ tenancy agreement, in most cases you are not legally obliged to pay more rent due to increased energy prices. The tenancy agreement you signed with the landlord is legally binding. However, the amount you pay could be affected by a fair usage clause.
What should I look out for?
Check your contract for the conditions of your all-inclusive tenancy agreement and look out for a fair usage policy or an energy usage cap.
If you don’t have a copy of your tenancy agreement, contact your landlord/agent and request a copy of the one you signed. They should provide you with a copy within 28 days of you requesting it. If you are having difficulty getting a copy, then contact us for advice.
A fair usage policy means that your agreement is only ‘all inclusive’ up to the point where you exceed the fair usage policy. The amount may be capped by units of energy used, or the proportion of rent allocated for bills, for example £15 per person per week. A landlord/agent can then legally charge you additional rent for your utilities.
If you do exceed the fair usage policy, the landlord/agent may retain a proportion of your deposit if you have paid one. If you have not paid a deposit, the landlord/agent might ask you to pay from the point at which you have gone over the cap or at the end of your tenancy.
Take control – top tips
It’s a good idea to try and keep a monthly record (with photos) of your meter readings and make sure you take a final reading at the end of your tenancy.
Find some good info on how to reduce your energy bills on Energy Saving Trust or the Money Saving Expert.
There may be ways that you and your housemates can use less energy/heating to reduce costs for the remainder of your tenancy. This?Save The Student article?is good on energy savings tips.
Still Unsure? Every contract is different so get your contract checked by us.
Log an enquiry to speak with our Advice Team