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Being Signed Up To Non-Preferred Energy Supplier By Letting Agent

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Good Afternoon,

I'm about to sign a tenancy agreement for a flat I'm hoping to move into very shortly.

On reviewing my tenancy agreement before signing, I noticed some clauses relating to having Spark Energy as my electricity supplier.

A quick google on Spark Energy reveals them to be very pricey and difficult to switch away from. They've even been fined for blocking people from leaving.

Would simply crossing out these clauses be sufficient, or do I need to request a new tenancy agreement?

When I spoke to the Letting Agent who said that I could opt out of it and that they would exclude me from being signed up, however I am reluctant to take their word over what is written in my tenancy agreement.

4.4.15 Disclosure of Tenant’s details to Spark Energy: Tenant acknowledges at the start of the let, the Gas and Electricity for the property will be provided,
or will be in the process of being provided, by Spark Energy. Tenant agrees that the letting agent may pass the Tenant’s name and contact details to Spark
Energy for the purposes of:
a. registering the gas and electricity meters at the property in the Tenant’s name with Spark Energy,
providing gas and electricity to the Tenant and administering the Tenant’s account with Spark Energy. Energy will use the Tenant’s details only for the purposes set out above and not in any other
way. Spark Energy will comply with it’s obligations as a data controller in the Data Protection Act 1998
and will handle Tenant’s data in a manner set out in Spark Energy’s standard terms and conditions

8 | P a g e
and/or privacy notice. If the Tenant has any questions regarding details or use of the Tenant’s data
held by Spark Energy, the Tenant may contact Spark Energy at Ettrick Riverside, Dunsdale Road,
Selkirk, TD7 5EB or customerservice@sparkenergy.co.uk or 0345 034 7474.
4.4.16 The Tenant may change the Gas and Electricity supplier, but should provide the Landlords Agent with
details of the new supplier within fourteen days of any change being made.

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Quite simply, your Letting Agent should not be saying anything different from the contract - without agreeing to change the terms on the agreement.

As an absolutely minimum, I would confirm, by email, the conversation that you've had and that he's agreed the term is irreverent.

Because on ehting is for sure, that you'll be bound by the terms of the agreement - and conversation will be worth the papers it's (not) written on)

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They cant force you to use that supplier, that was made illegal ages ago

I agree, tell them you want it in writing (saves hassle) and that they are not to hand over your details to the company

Then sort your own supply out

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As you probably realise, the Spark tariff is so expensive because the agent will receive a hefty kickback from them. The agent and Spark have strong incentives to lie, bully and be obstructive.

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Thanks for the helpful advice. My enquiries (contacting the local electricity company) have revealed that Spark Energy are already supplying energy to the property. I suspect that the previous tenant signed their agreement without taking issue to the clause or indeed being aware of how Spark operate.

According to what I've read, I'll have to use Spark for 28 days, at which point I'll be able to request a transfer to another electricity company.

It sounds as though I'll have a fight on my hands, though I'll be fighting it tirelessly.

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