Unreasonable use of utilities in an inclusive agreement

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M
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Dear RLA,

Last September, we let our 3 - bed cottage to 3 individuals with bills included - having based usage of utilities when we lived at the property for over 12 years and subsequent tenants for 5 years. The current tenants have been using the utilities which have now used the 'heating / hot Water ' in excess of 3 times out budgeted amount (1200 pounds/ annum)- and now claims it is their 'right to do so' under an inclusive contract (an RLA document) and refuses to cover any extra amount. They are having the heating on for 10hrs at a time, even during the current heatwave - with their windows open.
From the begining they have contested against any energy saving measures taken by us - including timers &better use of Economy 7 rates - claiming that we were impinging upon their freedom by being too 'prescriptive'.

The RLA tenancy agreement does have clause 16 which allows for a rent increase - if costs also increase. However, we had not specified exactly what amount was to be allocated each utility - as we felt it would be quite reasonable to adjust it dependent upon their usage.
Please advice me on the appropriate course of action.

Many thanks

Chintha

This member has been thanked by 1 member for this post.
11/05/2008 00:00

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