With winter on the horizon, everyone is firing up their heating systems again. In this specific example reported by the BBC today, a landlord has taken drastic action to ensure the tenant can't control the heating in his rented property. This is definitely not recommended.

It is not uncommon for landlords to include utility bills in the rent payment, however if the tenant uses excessive utilities this can obviously cut in to their rental income. However, landlords should not follow suit with this particular landlord, and lock the thermostat away. 

Tenants are entitled to heating and hot water, and by blocking this off to save on utility bills, you could be in breach many health and safety rules and regulations.

You could even potentially render a property uninhabitable and face a claim from a tenant under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018. 

If you are concerned about excessive utilities, it is probably best to negotiate into the tenancy that the tenant pays these directly. This will then ensure that utility costs do not eat in to rental income. Don't forget, utility bills are not prohibited payments under the new tenant fee ban.

If you have any questions and need further assistance with any Landlord and Tenant issues, give the team a call on 02380 221344!