So my 3 housemates and I have just moved into a new house. At the time we signed the contract, the landlord informed that bills were included (at an estimated rate based on what the previous tenants used – though it mostly consists of flat rate bills) and that he lived half the year in a flat in the basement of our place.
We didn’t realise the link between those two things: it turns out that his “flat” is in fact just a few rooms in the basement and that utility bills for the “two” properties are the same. He is essentially just freeloading off us – contributing nothing to the bills himself.
This even extends to the internet – in fact, the reason we found out about this link is that we changed the router password and, shortly afterwards, he let himself into our property to check why it wasn’t working. He didn’t even knock!
We’ve called him up on this and he says he won’t contribute as his usage of the utilities is “negligible” – I shit you not, he said he only has “hop-in, hop-out showers”.
I have literally never heard of this situation happening before so I have no idea what the legal precedent is.
We feel that as we weren’t informed of the situation upon signing the contract, the contract itself is on shaky grounds.
We also feel that he may be on some pretty shaky legal ground himself with regards to not paying for his own TV licence (as it is a section of the house separated by a locked door), or other utilities.
So, what do you guys think? We’ve already sent a message asking him to contribute to the bills to which he has said no. What are the next steps?