Conflict between housemates over last energy bill

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SpacePatroFan189
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#1
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#1
I've just moved out of a house share with three other students and we received our final energy bill. It comes to a whopping £378 which took us all by storm as that's much higher than what we're used to.

We know there's a living crisis going on, but our bigger concern is that one of our housemates insisted on putting the heating on in the middle of June (lord knows why) and a number of times had her window open while it was on. None of us had the radiators in our rooms on at all and the three of us feel it's unfair we pau £94 when this housemate is probably the main cause of the soaring cost.

Now, when she had it on I did say it might not be a good idea cause it could push up our bill, but at the time the other housemates didn't think this was the case because we were on a fixed cost plan. It's only when we sent the final meter readings that EDF bumped up the price.

One of the housemates (the one in charge of the EDF account) thinks the three of us should pay the normal £52 each, leaving the other housemate a charge of over £200! I think this might be a bit too extreme (not sure if I'm being too lenient). We messaged the group chat and the other housemate has read the message, but of course she hasn't responded and has now blocked the other housemate's number.

I should mention that this housemate has a history of not sending bill money on time and at one point our landlord messaged us to say she hadn't paid her rent in over a month! Anyway, none of us know how to go about this. We have till 19th July to pay it. Is there anything we can do to avoid splitting it 94 each way??
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Wired_1800
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O

(Original post by SpacePatroFan189)
I've just moved out of a house share with three other students and we received our final energy bill. It comes to a whopping £378 which took us all by storm as that's much higher than what we're used to.

We know there's a living crisis going on, but our bigger concern is that one of our housemates insisted on putting the heating on in the middle of June (lord knows why) and a number of times had her window open while it was on. None of us had the radiators in our rooms on at all and the three of us feel it's unfair we pau £94 when this housemate is probably the main cause of the soaring cost.

Now, when she had it on I did say it might not be a good idea cause it could push up our bill, but at the time the other housemates didn't think this was the case because we were on a fixed cost plan. It's only when we sent the final meter readings that EDF bumped up the price.

One of the housemates (the one in charge of the EDF account) thinks the three of us should pay the normal £52 each, leaving the other housemate a charge of over £200! I think this might be a bit too extreme (not sure if I'm being too lenient). We messaged the group chat and the other housemate has read the message, but of course she hasn't responded and has now blocked the other housemate's number.

I should mention that this housemate has a history of not sending bill money on time and at one point our landlord messaged us to say she hadn't paid her rent in over a month! Anyway, none of us know how to go about this. We have till 19th July to pay it. Is there anything we can do to avoid splitting it 94 each way??
If you owe £94 of the full £378, I’d suggest you pay it and move on. I recall a similar situation with a mate in London. He refused to pay and the landlord chase all of them in a small claims court. It was not good for him and he had a grad job, so was worried that they could find the details.

Don't end up playing yourself because of £94.
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black tea
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(Original post by SpacePatroFan189)

One of the housemates (the one in charge of the EDF account) thinks the three of us should pay the normal £52 each
That would be very unfair considering how much the prices have gone up over the past few months. Just pay the £94 and move on - if you live with other people, it's kind of to be expected that you will pay a bit more than you should for some things and a bit less for others.
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SpacePatroFan189
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(Original post by black tea)
That would be very unfair considering how much the prices have gone up over the past few months. Just pay the £94 and move on - if you live with other people, it's kind of to be expected that you will pay a bit more than you should for some things and a bit less for others.


(Original post by Wired_1800)
If you owe £94 of the full £378, I’d suggest you pay it and move on. I recall a similar situation with a mate in London. He refused to pay and the landlord chase all of them in a small claims court. It was not good for him and he had a grad job, so was worried that they could find the details.

Don't end up playing yourself because of £94.
Thanks everyone!

The situation's actually changed now. Turns out the £378 isn't a new bill but just includes the difference we owe based on the meter readings - so between us we actually only pay £168. As this works out to just £42 each I think we should definitely just pay equally and move on despite the housemate's heating usage. The other housemate, however, refuses to back down. She thinks me, her and the third housemate should pay nothing and the heating housemate pay the full £168! I think this is really unfair - like you guys were saying, the cost of living has gone up and it's not as if her heating was the sole cause of the extra cost. Not sure what the third housemate thinks as he's yet to comment on any of this.

So looks like I may end up arguing with the other side now
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by SpacePatroFan189)
Thanks everyone!

The situation's actually changed now. Turns out the £378 isn't a new bill but just includes the difference we owe based on the meter readings - so between us we actually only pay £168. As this works out to just £42 each I think we should definitely just pay equally and move on despite the housemate's heating usage. The other housemate, however, refuses to back down. She thinks me, her and the third housemate should pay nothing and the heating housemate pay the full £168! I think this is really unfair - like you guys were saying, the cost of living has gone up and it's not as if her heating was the sole cause of the extra cost. Not sure what the third housemate thinks as he's yet to comment on any of this.

So looks like I may end up arguing with the other side now
I suggest you tell them that you will pay the £42 and leave it there. If you have the account details of the bill payer, you should transfer the funds and close the chapter.

Don't get tied into the unnecessary arguments, the other housemate wont be there when you are battling potential issues for not paying the bill.

you should focus on yourself and your future. Misery needs company.
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londonmyst
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If the utility bill is in the names of all the tenants, the best thing to do is pay your share and negotiate with all the other tenants willing to pay to ensure that the bill is paid in full before the payment deadline.
Utility bills normally come with joint and several financial liability for all the adult housemates named in the bill.
If the utility company do not receive full payment they will attempt to collect from all tenants.
Most will add late payment charges plus the costs of any debt collection enforcement & court fees.

You can't afford to have your credit history ruined for the next 6 years because of a late bill payment.
Nor pay extra to cover late payment fees or debt enforcement costs and risk having a CCJ issued against you for non-payment of the full amount of the bill.

I am sympathetic to the idea of the housemate who frequently used the heating paying a lot more towards the heating costs than everyone else.
Particularly if she is in the habit of trying to avoid paying her bills or making very late payments and blocking any & all housemates who try to discuss arrangements for getting household bills paid.

I've had a few housemates that behaved like this.
Mostly professionals with well paid full time jobs who were not students.
Habitual freeloaders and rarely willing to compromise on anything.
Entitled, stingy and extremely inconsiderate jerks that were awful to share accomodation with.
Tend to end up with lousy landlord references, poor credit scores and none of their previous housemates willing to consider ever sharing with them again after the end of tenancy.
Karma won't forget them or wipe off their karmic overdraft.
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SpacePatroFan189
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
I suggest you tell them that you will pay the £42 and leave it there. If you have the account details of the bill payer, you should transfer the funds and close the chapter.

Don't get tied into the unnecessary arguments, the other housemate wont be there when you are battling potential issues for not paying the bill.

you should focus on yourself and your future. Misery needs company.
It's not as simple at this, unfortunately. As the most recent poster has said, we all have joint financial liability. So even if I paid my share, EDF would still come after me if the bill hadn't been paid in full due to non-payments from other tenants.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by SpacePatroFan189)
It's not as simple at this, unfortunately. As the most recent poster has said, we all have joint financial liability. So even if I paid my share, EDF would still come after me if the bill hadn't been paid in full due to non-payments from other tenants.
Yes, they could come for you but you have the evidence that you had paid your share.
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black tea
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
Yes, they could come for you but you have the evidence that you had paid your share.
EDF won't care
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by black tea)
EDF won't care
I dont care about EDF. I am talking about the subsequent action. You have settled your debt and have the evidence for it. If it escalates you show evidence that you have cleared your part of the debt.
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black tea
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
I dont care about EDF.
Not sure that would stand up in court as an excuse...

The debt belongs to everyone, there is no "your"part or "their" part - until the debt has been paid, everyone is equally responsible.
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SpacePatroFan189
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(Original post by black tea)
Not sure that would stand up in court as an excuse...

The debt belongs to everyone, there is no "your"part or "their" part - until the debt has been paid, everyone is equally responsible.
Yeah, that's what I thought too. I don't agree with it at all but that seems to be the law around here. The housemate refusing to pay the £42 is a law graduate, can't believe she'd risk court just for this heating fiasco. Not on her side at all anymore.
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londonmyst
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(Original post by Wired_1800)
I dont care about EDF. I am talking about the subsequent action. You have settled your debt and have the evidence for it. If it escalates you show evidence that you have cleared your part of the debt.
That's not how the system works with houseshare utility bills that are not included within the rent.
All the adult residents named in the bill are financially liable to pay the total amount and if any amount is unpaid debt collection enforcement can come after any & all of them.
Regardless of how they prefer to divide up bills between them.

Retaining proof of payment of an equal division portion of household bills will only be relevant as regards deposit return or challenging a landlord reference that specifically mentions a tenant as not having paid a share when they have.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by londonmyst)
That's not how the system works with houseshare utility bills that are not included within the rent.
All the adult residents named in the bill are financially liable to pay the total amount and if any amount is unpaid debt collection enforcement can come after any & all of them.
Regardless of how they prefer to divide up bills between them.

Retaining proof of payment of an equal division portion of household bills will only be relevant as regards deposit return or challenging a landlord reference that specifically mentions a tenant as not having paid a share when they have.
I understand how the system works. My point was to pay your equal share of the bill and confirm to the rest of the group.
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Wired_1800
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(Original post by black tea)
Not sure that would stand up in court as an excuse...

The debt belongs to everyone, there is no "your"part or "their" part - until the debt has been paid, everyone is equally responsible.
Lol, it actually has in the past. There was a debt and most people paid their share of the bill, the enforcement officers went after the last person.
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