Tenants Missing Out on Cheaper Energy Prices
New research by comparison site uSwitch has revealed that 13% of landlords have denied tenants their right to switch energy suppliers in order to cut bills. The figure rose to 19% amongst landlords who rent out three or more properties.
Whilst a ‘preferred supplier’ clause is often put in rental agreements, tenants are under no obligation to use the named provider. However, uSwitch found that a third of landlords believed they could use the clause to prevent their tenants from switching. As director of consumer policy at uSwitch Ann Robinson explained, having a choice of supplier could make a significant difference to tenants’ energy bills. “With a £339 difference between the average standard tariff and the cheapest deal, there has never been a more important time to help the growing population of renters tackle the sky-high cost of energy,” she said. “Given that tenants are half as likely to switch as homeowners, any measures to break down the barriers and encourage them to take more control of their energy will reduce bills by millions.”
Many landlords said the high turnover of tenants and late rental payments were other reasons why they had prevented them from changing supplier. With an estimated 230,000 people affected, it’s thought that some £161 million per year is currently being added to tenants’ bills. The survey was carried out from 2-7 September and involved 1,000 private tenants and 500 private landlords.