Commerical&Co. are a mixed residential property letting agency with a portfolio that stretches across both student lets and private homes. Our relationship with them began in August 2016 when Owner and Director Melissa Maini came to Advantage Utilities looking for help.

From day one we’ve been helping Melissa with every aspect of her utilities, from getting her out of a rip-off tariff to getting compensation for being erroneously direct debited for someone else’s energy usage (see her lovely letter she’s send us).

However, It’s not just money we’ve saved Commercial&Co; the complex issues which can often result from large, multi-site portfolios and student properties can be extremely stressful, and Advantage Utilities work to ensure our clients get a seamless, stress-free experience. Here’s a tricky, delicate case we helped Melissa out with.

The Problem

As a professional landlord for student tenants, Melissa regularly inspects her properties to ensure they are of the high standards her clients would expect. One day, she discovered her tenants had left everything on before they went on Christmas break!

“I was [also] having issues with a set of student tenants leaving the heating, lights and even the oven on when they left the property for Christmas break. Their actions meant that in the space of only a few months, they’d used two and a half times more energy than is average for a year!”

When Melissa spoke to the parents of the students about it. They refused to pay for the bill, pointing out that it was an all-inclusive deal.

“Utilities are included in contracts for student tenants, but like every all-inclusive contract the usage needs to be reasonable. Seeing this level of consumption and how much it cost was problematic.”

The Solution

Faced with an enormous and disproportionate energy bill that was the responsibility of individuals contractually bound to our client, we set to work in gathering the evidence that it was the student’s behaviour that was directly responsible for the huge hike in costs. We did this by showing the usage and cost data from the previous 3 winter periods and how it compared with the winter bill of the current tenants. With the hard facts in front of them we had gathered, the parents agreed to pay the excess costs.

The Result

Melissa received over £450 towards the cost of the bill from the parents and avoided having to escalate the situation.

“I was worried I was going to have a stressful situation on my hands which could have ended up in court – but Advantage Utilities resolved everything for me and managed to secure a considerable refund for me. What a relief!”

We work tirelessly to ensure that all our clients not only are paying what they ought to for their utilities, but that they are never bothered by issues that can take valuable time away from running their business.