August 4, 2022: Student tenants may miss out on the government’s £400 energy rebate
University students moving into private rental accommodation may not qualify for government energy rebates.
Tenants whose energy bills are included in the cost of their rent may not qualify for the discount, warned Citizens Advice, a consumer charity.
With average energy bills hitting record highs of over £300 a month, the government has pledged to give every household a £400 cut on their bills this autumn.
The reduction will be automatically applied to energy bills, in six installments between October 2022 and March 2023.
Where the landlord is responsible for the energy bills, the rebate will be applied to him rather than to the tenants. And there are concerns that tenants whose utility bills are included in their monthly rent payments may not be passed on the refund.
According to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 13% of tenants – representing 585,000 homes – have energy bills included in their rental payments.
This type of rental is particularly common among students. A 2018 survey by utility provider Glide found that 63% of students had utility bills included in their rent.
Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said: ‘Tenants whose energy bills are included in the rent or service charge cannot directly claim the energy reduction. Instead, they will be at the mercy of their owner who will pass on that much-needed support.
Although landlords are not legally required to pass on the £400 energy rebate, they are not allowed to overcharge tenants for energy.
To make sure you only pay what you owe, Shelter recommends tracking how much energy you use by taking regular electricity and gas meter readings.
Polly Neate adds: “It is unfair that those at the height of this crisis can miss out on this much needed support. The government is looking into the matter because it has recognized that it is not fair. »
Organizations such as Renters Rights London are urging tenants to contact their landlord in writing if they fail to pass on the government energy rebate.
You have the right to know whether it will be delivered by bank transfer or deducted from a future rental payment. If your landlord is not passing on the discount, contact Citizens Advice or Shelter for advice.