Heating and energy bill cap

Good evening,

I’m a tenant in a 6 room HMO in a 120+ year old property.

As per our individual contracts, all energy bills are not strictly included with the tenancy but instead there is a cap a cap of £230 a month in total for the household. (£7.50 per day for 6 people, £1.20 per person per day) If we go over the £230, then the landlord sends us the bill, the excess is divided between tenants and paid to the landlord.

I monitor the Hive heating schedule on the app and adjust it with feedback from all tenants, there is also a smart meter so we can see the daily useage/spend.

With this recent cold snap, we are really struggling to keep the house warm at a fair and affordable price.

The Hive app tells me that the maximum temperature its recorded in the last 7 days is 16.1 degrees and it drops to 12 degrees during the night and 13 during the day time currently. We have the heating on for 6-8 hrs a day, a few hours in the morning and a few more in the evening but the it never reaches its maximum temperature (it’s only set to 18). Everyday the smart meter shows we have used £13-15 worth of gas.

Obviously this house is a very old house and I guess is less well insulated than more modern properties, hence it not getting up to temperature or holding its temperature and that’s why we have to have the heating on for the durations mentioned above and inevitably go over our £7.50 per day allowance.

The “Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Policy 2012” for the local authority we fall under states:

Each unit of accommodation, including associated bathrooms and other common areas must be
provided with an adequate fixed heating system. This needs to be sufficient to maintain the
temperature of the main room at 19ºC when the external temperature is -1ºC.

The heating system is probably able to maintain this temperature if the energy cap was higher.

As tenants we do understand that the energy costs have risen considerably over the last few months, but we can no longer accept this level of energy cap allowance to attempt to heat this old house to a comfortable temperature.

Does anyone have any advice?

Thanks a lot!


Just pay the difference? The landlord will need to either up rent or charge the difference over the cap. It doesn’t matter where the “slider” sits.

Personally I think you are better off just paying the difference. It’s what you agreed to. Why would you expect the landlord to absorb the energy increase costs?


If the heating system is capable of heating the property to 19 degrees then there is no HMO issue. Whats the EPC? As Mark says, you just have to pay the difference. Everyone is struggling with energy costs at the moment and millions of people live in100+ year old houses in the UK. At least you can share the cists with 3 others.

Longer term, seek a better insulated home.


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