My question is basically, if an electricity meter breaks and the tenant is away during that period, therefore using no electricity and unable to know of a broken meter, is the landlord liable for the (vastly over) estimated electricity bill, since they failed to fix it?
I was away from my flat at university for about 1.5 months over summer, pretty much the same period as the utilities bills were. The problem is that during this time, the electricity meter broke, and because of this the bill I was given used estimated rates rather than PAYG, charging me £60 for about 260 units of electricity, whereas I was billed correctly for gas, charging me about £0.40 for one unit used. I tried to discuss it with the advisors at the electric company, however although they understood the problem and could see that given the low gas bill no-one was home, understandably since the meter is broken they have to assume it was used at a standard rate. What I'm wondering is, since the landlord is responsible for the upkeep of the flat, including fittings such as the utility meters, would they be liable for footing the electricity bill, since this is down to their faulty maintenance of the property?
Usually they will have a notification requirement in their handbook, did you inform your landlord you'd be away for so long?
Tell the electricity supplier to prove your consumption.
If they can't tell them you'll see them in court.