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Paying your landlord for energy

This advice applies to Northern Ireland

If you are a tenant in a rented property, your landlord might charge you for gas and electricity.

This page explains when a landlord can charge a tenant for gas and electricity and the rules landlords have to follow.

This information does not apply if the cost of energy is included in your rent or if you pay the energy supplier directly.

When can a landlord charge for gas and electricity?

Your landlord can charge you for gas and electricity if your tenancy agreement says they can. If your tenancy agreement says you must pay your landlord for energy, you are not liable to pay bills directly to a supplier.

This might apply to you if you live in:

  • a rented house or flat where you pay your landlord directly for the electricity and gas you use
  • a caravan park, where you pay the park owner for the energy you use
  • a houseboat, where you pay the moorings operator for the energy you use
  • a holiday home or chalet, where you pay the owner for the energy you use

If you rent your home, remember that repairs to the heating system are your landlord’s responsibility. Your landlord is also responsible for ensuring that any appliances that they have supplied meet safety requirements.

How much can the landlord charge for gas and electricity?

Your landlord must not charge you more for gas or electricity than he is paying the supplier for it.

How the landlord charges you for your gas and electricity depends on whether your usage is recorded by a meter.

If your usage is recorded by a meter

If your consumption is recorded by a meter your landlord should bill you for the units used, plus your share of any standing charge at the same price as he paid his supplier. Your landlord can only charge you the domestic rate for energy, even if he has a business contract with the supplier.

If your usage is not recorded by a meter

If your usage is not recorded by a dedicated meter for your property, the landlord should work out your charges proportionately. The landlord must be able to show you how they've worked out the costs if you ask. 

What can’t your landlord charge for?

The bill that your landlord gives you for gas and electricity must only be for the cost of gas and electricity you use.

Any other charges such as an administration charge for billing or charges for lighting common areas must be billed separately. These charges are not subject to legal maximum prices.

If you have a dispute with your landlord over energy charges

If you have a dispute with your landlord over charges for energy, you should ask them to explain to you how they've worked out the charges.

If you feel you have been over-charged, you should take it up with the landlord first. If the dispute cannot be resolved informally you should call the Consumer Council helpline for further advice.

Next steps

Other useful information

  • For more information on the rules your landlord should follow when charging for energy, see ‘Guidance for Resellers of Electricity or Gas’ at www.uregni.gov.uk .
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