I hope you find my reply in red informative.
Last September my daughter and her friends moved in to their new student home. Little did I know that the innocuous-looking clause in their contract about energy suppliers would have me still trying to sort out the chaos it created 9 months later. The agent's contract stated that the tenants energy supply would be moved to Spark Energy, but that the tenants could change at any time.This is common with some letting agents who have a 'business relationship' with a particular supplier and every time there is a change in tenancy, the supply changes to that particular supplier immediately when property is vacated
They chose GB Energy, and were on supply for one day before Spark took the supply over. Timing is crucial here, if the supply has recently changed to that particular supplier, only the letting agency can cancel the transfer within 14 days from the date agency arranged to change supplier (cooling off period)
Spark agreed (after a phone call from me, explaining that the tenants had exercised their right to change supplier), that there had been an erroneous transferBy arranging an erroneous transfer, Spark transferred the supply back to the supplier of the previous tenant (this process takes a few weeks to transfer supply back) and only then can the new tenant arrange to transfer to preferred supplier. Bit messy, best advice would be to accept that the supply has been changed to the letting agents preferred supplier and then change supplier. Lot quicker process
You could not make up the trail of chaos that this has caused since that date.In hindsight, the chaos was caused by arranging an erroneous transfer - best advise again is for a new tenant to accept the agency has arrange transfer to their preferred supplier (if too late to cancel within cooling off)
So, a warning. If your student tenancy includes a clause that allows the agent or landlord to choose supplier, strike it out.Some agencies will have already arranged the change of supplier from the date the previous tenant moved out so could be too late anyway
If you've already signed, put in writing that you are exercising your right to change supplier now, Agencies generally do not prevent a tenant for choosing their preferred supplier
and then phone the agent (probably daily!) to check that they don't go ahead anyway.Again it really depends on timing - when previous tenant moved out as it might be too late
Spark, by the way, were (and probably still are), very expensive.