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lauralillee
29-03-2010, 12:22 PM
Hi,
I'm about to enter a contractual tenancy agreement (as over £25k p/a) one of the clauses specifies that we cannot change utility providers.
I wondered how common this was, it seems a bit unfair given that there can be substantial differences in the price you can find for these services.
Is it fair for the LL to specify the providers you can use while still expecting you to pay the full amount?
Thanks in advance for your thoughts
Laura:)

Ericthelobster
29-03-2010, 14:31 PM
one of the clauses specifies that we cannot change utility providers.
I wondered how common this was, it seems a bit unfair given that there can be substantial differences in the price you can find for these services.
Is it fair for the LL to specify the providers you can use while still expecting you to pay the full amount?I think it's pretty common. My standard AST agreement (which I didn't write myself) says the same thing, and I'd prefer tenants don't change the utility providers since it makes life easier for me when tracking them down, ensuring meter readings etc are provided between tenancies etc.

That said, it's considered an unfair clause (see legislation (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si1999/19992083.htm)) and if any tenant asks me I don't argue and just let them go ahead.

There are some utility companies who give a kick-back to the LL for using them for all their properties (and naturally enough, those companies aren't going to be the cheapest for the end-user) so it's possible there may be a financial benefit to the landlord in preventing the tenant from changing...

You might want to start by just asking the LL if you can change, and see what the outcome is?