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Landlady "slammed" my broadband and refuses to reimburse the costs

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462 views 3 replies latest reply: 25 June 2015
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Tenant

Hello,

I am currently renting a flat but am due to move out on the 30th June. Before I could notify my broadband/telephone provider that I was moving home, however, my landlady arranged for the service to be switched over to a different provider on the 7th of July (i.e a week after I have vacated the flat). This switch was done without my knowledge or permission, yet my provider has told me that I am the one who has to pay for the extra week that I am not living in the flat but before the switchover takes place (and because the switchover has already been arranged, I now cannot end my contract before the switchover takes place).

I feel that it is unfair that I have to pay for the extra week of services that I will not use since I will no longer be living in the property, just because my landlady arranged for the switchover a week after my move-out date. I have contacted my landlady to ask to be reimbursed for the cost of this week – since she is the one responsible for arranging the switch – but she has refused to do so. I feel that this is an unreasonable attitude, especially since after I move out she will be the person responsible for the property and its services.

Is there anything I can do to get her to reimburse me these costs? 

I’d be really grateful for any help or advice – Thanks!

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Administrator

I’m a bit puzzled as to how your landlady was able to switch over an account that is in your name – that’s potentially fraudulent. How exactly did she do it, or is the broadband account in her name?

I would highlight to your landlady that your responsibility to pay for services at the property ends with the tenancy – it should say that in your tenancy agreement. If the way she has done things means there is an extra week to pay that there wouldn’t have been if she had left it to you frankly that’s tough luck for her.

In terms of what you can do, has she already taken the money from you? If not then just don’t pay her for it. If she tries to take it out of your deposit then raise a dispute with the tenancy deposit protection service your deposit is registered and then the landlady will have to justify keeping the money – which it doesn’t sound like she will be able to do.

Your other option is to make a small claim against her – not as complex as it sounds – have a look here.

Alex

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Tenant

Hi Alex, thanks very much for your reply!

Apparently there is a process called ‘slamming’ whereby someone can change providers without the consent of the account holder. This is because now all you have to do to change providers is contact the new provider and ask them to take over the line; the current provider or account holder technically doesn’t have to be involved at all. Frankly, I’m surprised it is even legal but apparently it happens quite often. 

She hasn’t taken any money from me; the money will be taken from my bank account by Sky, which is why she refuses to reimburse me, because she says it is my responsibility to deal with the providers. But I feel this is unfair since the only reason I’m having this money taken is as a result of her actions. I have asked Sky about this and they also want to pass the blame onto someone else, namely the new provider (they say that they are powerless to do anything now the switchover request has been made). 

Even though she hasn’t taken the money from the deposit, do you think I would be able to raise this during the dispute process with the deposit protection resolution service? I am pretty sure that trying to resolve this with the landlady directly will be unsuccessful because of how she has reacted in previous dealings involving her responsibilities as landlady (notably threatening me with eviction when I questioned how long repairs to our bath would take). I am also worried that, if I push this issue before we move out, she is going to be unreasonable with trying to make deductions from our deposit. 

Thanks again for your advice!

Best wishes

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Administrator

Hello again

Ok I’ve looked into slamming (I wasn’t even aware of it) and they still need your permission. You can object once you have been ‘slammed’ and you have the right to be transferred back to your original provider. Most sources also recommend that you report the company who slammed you to Ofcom. You could speak to the new company and ask them to compensate you for the loss you will suffer as a result of their accepting the slamming by the landlady without your permission  – the amount being that week.

In terms of your deposit I don’t know 100% what the disputes service would say as I’m not an expert – why don’t you call them and ask? Re any other deductions it doesn’t matter if the landlady decides to be unreasonable – the point of the disputes service is that she won’t get away with a deduction unless she can prove she’s entitled to it.

Alex

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