You know you’re old when…

10th October 2013

I try to live a simple life but quite often life doesn’t stay that way. As I mentioned in my last blog post, my life isn’t perfect. The past week has been a clear example of this.

Since we moved into our flat we had been receiving letters for the previous tenant. We’d saved them for him in case he wanted to collect them or the letting agency wanted them. We had noticed that there were a hell of a lot of letters from the council so much so that when we had another one last week we decided to investigate by holding the letter up to the light. Naughty, I know, but we were concerned that he would be getting council tax bills and with him not living here anymore he could not pay them. Now, I informed the council that we were the new tenants and as we are students we don’t have to pay council tax. So you can imagine my horror when we read from the letter that was held up to the light that the bailiffs were coming to our flat because the previous tenant hasn’t been paying his council tax.

I was fuming. I’d told the council that they no longer lived here and clearly they took no notice of this. I ended up opening the letter (I know, I’m a terrible person) and getting in touch with the bailiffs. Guess what? They didn’t believe that I was the new tenant. Unbelievable. I ended up sending them copies of the tenancy agreement and bills as evidence that I was now the tenant of the flat. There was no way in hell I was having bailiffs coming to steal my stuff when I wasn’t the one who hasn’t paid the bills.

The bailiffs still haven’t got back to me after I sent them this evidence. I’m still hoping that they don’t turn up. But at the end of the day I can’t live in fear of the bailiffs. If they turn up I shall call the police.

I know it’s really, really bad to open other peoples mail, but if I hadn’t have done so I might have come back one day to an empty flat.

I’ve also had problems with sorting out my electricity supplier. Basically, I needed to change from the current supplier as they were unable to switch the name on the account to mine. I tried to switch but I kept getting denied because the current supplier wouldn’t allow me to leave as a customer as I am not the one with the account. Confusing, I know, but after several emails to quite possibly the worst electricity supplier in the world and to my letting agency I think I’ve finally got to the stage where I can switch. It’s only taken me bloody 2 months, which wasn’t my fault. :/

We received our first water bill today and it seemed a little high. After speaking to my mum I’ve decided that it’s not too bad but we are going to try our best to save water and get our bills at a more reasonable amount as I’d budgeted a lot less for water. We aren’t going to leave the tap on while washing up. We aren’t going to use the dishwasher. I’m going to switch from baths to showers (it’s going to be hell). We are going to try and use the washing machine only when there is a full load.

If you have any tips of saving water, baring in mind we live in a flat so garden related things are a little impossible, please share them. πŸ™‚

You know you’re old when all you blog about is utility bills! πŸ˜›

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  1. I got TV fines from the previous tenant, and a Β£60 electricity bill but I managed to get them sorted. It’s a right pain in the arse. I’m terrified about my water bill, because I take fairly long showers (because my hair won’t rinse properly) but I’ve tried to save water elsewhere by doing the same as you – me and my flatmate have never used the dishwasher, we only do full washing machine loads and we only have showers.

    You can usually sort out debt collectors if you stay persistant, I hope it all works well for you! Try going to the citizen’s advice place, I’m not sure where it is in the city centre to be honest but they’ll help with anything!

    • The problem is I’m more of a bath person and I hate showers. I also spend ages in the shower because my hair takes forever to wash. If my bill doesn’t go down in price then I’m reporting it. It’s way too high for just two people.

      I often turn to my letting agency for help but they’re pretty useless. I’m still having more and more problems. I’m just fed up. I want to have a bit of normality for once. πŸ™

  2. Council tax is a new thing to me.. we don’t have in in NZ. I hope you get it sorted. I want to assume it’s the same as “rates” but usually the landlord pays it (though it’s probably worked into the rent)

    Power wise, you could probably still shower, but in-between things like putting on soap, putting in shampoo / conditioner, shaving legs – turn the shower off. Also, look into your heating – don’t use fan heaters! Use something like a convection heater. If you have a heat pump, don’t turn it on when you get home and put it on like 30Deg, set it up so that it comes on an hour or so before you wake up, and before it starts getting cold in the afternoon but have it on a low temp, that extra hour it’s on will warm up the house and cost less then blasting it on full heat! The same can be done with heaters that are plugged into power mains, get a timer power thing. I can’t remember what they’re called.

    What else… I’m not really sure. Dryers for sure are HUGE power eaters! Dishwasher too (as you said!). So it’s much more cheaper to put your clothes on the line or on a clothes horse inside.

    Also, if you pay a weekly amount to the power company, keep paying that same amount over summer, it’ll help in winter if it gets super cold and you use a lot of power.

    • Council tax is paid to cover the cost of things like collecting the bins and maintaining the roads. Basically any jobs that the council do. How much you pay is normally based on the area you live in. So for me, for example, it’s really high because I live in the city centre. Fortunately I don’t pay because I’m a student.

      Of course I’m still showering haha! It’s just I normally take baths but they use up way too much water.

      I shall take note of your tips on heating. So far we haven’t had the heating on and it’s getting pretty cold. We are very lucky that our flat is always warm without having to heat it.

      • That’s lucky your flat is always warm. My house is really cold, but it’s also rather old!

        I thought you meant you didn’t like having a bath and preferred showering. Woops. πŸ˜›

        Ya I think the council tax over here is “rates”, but I think landlords would work it into to the rent costs along with water rates etc. That’s what I assume, anyway. πŸ™‚

  3. […] We also finally got an electricity bill from British Gas. If you’ve been reading about my shenanigans with sorting out an electricity supplier then you will understand my relief. I’ve never been so happy to receive and pay for a bill in […]