Have you been charged for illegal on-account payments?
You do not have separate meters in your tenancy, and do you pay on account? Have you been sent a utilities account that does not meet formalities or something third? Get a free and non-binding assessment of your case at DIGURA and let us handle your potential case.
How can we help you?
Do you have control over your consumption?
When you are renting, you are charged every month for your consumption of water, heat and electricity. But even though it seems to be on point, conflicts often arise overprecise consumption charges.
You can actually pay consumption in 3 different ways, and depending on how you are charged for consumption, there are some very specific rules that can be beneficial to know, so you always know that your legal rights as a tenant also are respected.
On this page, we will review everything you need to know about consumption, so that you have complete control over whether you yourself are charged in the right way, or whether you are cheated by your landlord.
What is A conto?
The first payment model we will review, which is also the most widely used, is on aconto.
In the case of an on-account payments, you as a tenant pay an on-account amount to your landlord every month. The amount corresponds to the expected consumption, and it is thus the landlord who settles the consumption with the utility company.
Before this form of payment can be used, it is a legal requirement that there are separate consumption meters in the individual lease.
The separate consumption meters must therefore be able to document the consumption for the individual lease, and if the lease does not have an individual consumption meter, then the landlord may not collect payment of consumption through an account.
The consumption account by aconto
In connection with on-account collection and the individual consumption meters, a consumption account is prepared once a year.
Here, your on-account payments for the whole year will be held up against your actual consumption, and in case you have paid too much in aconto, then you should have money back.
This is typically done by offsetting the amount you must have repaid the next payment to your landlord.
In the event that you have paid too little in an account, then you will be charged for the difference in a post-clearance.
What should I pay special attention to when I receive a consumption bill?
Once you have received your consumption bill, there are some points you need to pay special attention to.
Overall, the consumption invoice must contain information that shows the payment of your consumption for the individual consumption item. That is water, heat and electricity.
The consumption bill must give you insight into how high your consumption has been, as well as how much you have paid into your account.
So you can see if you have paid too little or too much in the account, and thus also whether you should have a set-off, or whether you should have some or all money refunded.
1. Financial year / consumption period
Your consumption invoice must initially contain information about the actual consumption period, and unless otherwise agreed, the consumption period starts on 01.06. and ends on 31.05. the following year.
Please note that the consumption period can only extend over one year.
At the same time, this means that if you vacate your lease before the end of a financial year, you should be aware that you should only receive a consumption bill for your actual consumption period.
2. Paid on account contribution
The consumption invoice must also contain information on how much you have paid in an account contribution for the consumption item in question.
3. Information about your share of consumption
The consumption invoice must also contain information about the total consumption, as well as specific information about your share of the consumption.
Please note that in the case of electricity or water consumption, the information about your share of the consumption must be based on an individual consumption meter.
4. Complaints guide
The consumption bill must also contain information about your ability to object to the consumption bill – this is called a complaint guide.
The complaint guide must contain information about who you can submit your complaint or objection to, as well as the deadline for when this must be done at the latest.
The time limit is set in accordance with the provisions of the Rent Act, which means that your right to object to your consumption account expires 6 weeks after you have received the consumption invoice.
5. Information about the time of the landlord’s receipt of the consumption bill
Should it happen that you receive your consumption bill later than 4 months after the end of the financial year, then this information will have a big impact.
If you receive the consumption invoice later than 4 months after the end of the financial year, the landlord must have submitted the consumption invoice no later than 3 months after the landlord received the consumption invoice from the utility company.
When should I receive a consumption bill?
As a starting point, you must receive your consumption bill no later than 4 months after the end of the financial year. As mentioned above, the financial year for consumption starts on 01.06. and ends on 31.05., unless otherwise agreed.
Even if you receive the consumption invoice later than 4 months after the end of the financial year, it may still be valid.
However, this presupposes that the landlord has sent you the consumption invoice no later than 3 months after the landlord has received the consumption invoice from the utility company.
If you receive the consumption invoice later than 4 months after the end of the financial year, you must therefore be aware of whether it appears from the consumption invoice when the landlord received the invoice from the utility company.
Unlike some of our competitors, DIGURA has no additional fees for services provided. DIGURA has always been fully transparent about our pricing model.
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What are the consequences of the landlord not complying with the above rules?
If the consumption invoice you receive from the landlord does not comply with the above rules, then the landlord has submitted an invalid consumption invoice.
And if the landlord can not document that your consumption for water, heating and / or electricity, respectively, you will be entitled to have all on-account payments repaid with 3 years retroactive effect.
Another consequence of the landlord submitting an invalid consumption invoice is that the landlord loses the right to demand back payment if the landlord does not send a valid consumption invoice within 4 months after the end of the financial year, or no later than 3 months after receiving the consumption invoice from the utility.
A post-payment may be relevant if you have paid too little in an account contribution in relation to your consumption.
Therefore, we would strongly recommend that you pay attention to the consumption bill that you receive, as it can have a decisive effect on what rights you have as a tenant in the situation in question.
Adjustment and determination of the monthly amount
If the monthly on-account payment is not proportional to your actual consumption, the fixed on-account amount can be adjusted. However, it is a requirement that such a change is notified 6 weeks in advance.
When it comes to calculating the heat consumption, it requires that either heat meters, cubic meters or evaporation meters (radiators) are installed.
However, it is not a requirement that the meters cover the entire lease. The requirement is that the meters must be able to cover at least 40% of the lease, while the rest is calculated according to a square meter distribution.
Particularly for the heat bill is that heating for domestic water, e.g. in the bath or via the tap, is included in the heating bill.
Your landlord can only charge for the cost of supplying water if individual consumption meters are set up in each lease. If such are not set up, the landlord can not charge this expense.
The water accounts may include expenses for water and water discharge charges during the accounting period.
Likewise, your landlord can only charge for the cost of supplying electricity if approved individual electricity meters are installed in the lease.
No Cure, No Pay
How does it work?
You submit your case
You fill out the formula and attach all relevant documents to the submission.
DIGURA assess the case
Based on your information, we assess the case. Have that potential, we offer to lead the case for you. You only pay, if we win. This is the No Cure, No pay method.
DIGURA conducts the case
First, we enter into a dialogue with your landlord with a view to a settlement agreement. If this does not succeed, we will take the matter to the Rent Board.
Payment of consumption through the rent
In addition to paying consumption through an account, the consumption can also be included in the rent.
The advantage is that there will never be a recalculation, so if you do not like having to think about your consumption and whether there will be a recalculation, it can be a good solution.
The downside, however, is that you risk paying more than what you actually consume, which very few people probably want.
Agreement between tenant and utility company
You can also pay your consumption directly to the utility company, which requires you to make an agreement with that company.
However, the utility company is not obligated to accept such an agreement, and typically the utility company will set certain conditions for entering into an agreement, such as that you are liable in the alternative for the consumption.
What do you do if you receive a bill?
Should you be in a situation where you have received a bill for your consumption, then there are just a few things you need to be aware of before paying the bill to your landlord.
1. What is the reason for the recalculation?
If you receive an invoice, it is important that you first consider what that invoice is due to.
Your landlord is only entitled to post-payment if his settlement with the utility company is greater than the on-account contribution that you have paid. Therefore, look at your spending and your monthly on-account payments to make sure they match.
2. Is your landlord entitled to a post-clearance at all?
According to the Rent Act, you are entitled to independent meters for water and electricity, respectively, if the landlord is to have the right to collect on-account payments.
If your landlord has neglected this task, no claim can be made that you as a tenant must pay a monthly on-account contribution, or for the same reason can be held liable for a recalculation.
3. Has your landlord complied with the complaint instructions in the consumption accounts?
There is a specific formal requirement for the landlord that a guide on the possibility of objecting to the consumption account must be included in the consumption accounts.
If the landlord neglects to add the tenant’s opportunity to object, the landlord loses the right to collect a post – clearance.
According to the Rent Act, the landlord must clearly inform the tenant in the consumption accounts about the possibility of objecting to the consumption accounts.
4. The landlord does not take the complaint to the Rent Board.
Have you complained about the consumption accounts without the landlord having done anything?
According to the rules of the Rent Act, the landlord is obliged to submit the case to the Rent Board within 6 weeks after the expiry of your deadline of 6 weeks in order to object to the consumption accounts.
If the landlord does not submit the case to the rent tribunal before the expiry of this deadline, the landlord loses the right to collect his set-off.
Remember that your objection to the consumption accounts must contain a reason.
5. Have the consumption accounts arrived on time?
Last advice on recalculation deals with the deadlines in relation to the consumption accounts. The Rent Act sets strict formal requirements for, among other things, when you as a tenant must have received the consumption accounts at the latest.
Your landlord must send this within 4 months after the end of the financial year, or at least be able to show that the landlord is awaiting his utility company.
If the landlord does not meet the deadlines, the landlord is not entitled to demand back payment from you as a tenant.
What can DIGURA help with consumption?
At DIGURA, we can help you with your legal rights when you as a tenant have paid too much in consumption.
We will be available to answer your specific questions and give you legal advice on how to deal with your landlord.
You can also hand over the dialogue and conduct of the case completely to us, and then we will act on your behalf, relieving you of a lot of resources and concerns.