‘It’s crazy,’ residents fume after being slapped with £820 bill in ‘scare tactic’ – more than a YEAR after they left

‘It’s crazy,’ residents fume after being slapped with £820 bill in ‘scare tactic’ – more than a YEAR after they left

RESIDENTS have been left outraged after being slapped with hundreds of pounds in energy bills – more than a year after they moved out.

Previous tenants of Kampus, located next to Canal Street in Manchester city centre, said they received hefty bills marked “overdue” from operator Native around two weeks ago.

Previous tenants of Kampus in Manchester said they received hefty bills marked 'overdue'
Previous tenants of Kampus in Manchester said they received hefty bills marked ‘overdue’Credit: MEN Media
Former residents have dubbed the move 'unethical and unfair' criticising operator Native
Former residents have dubbed the move ‘unethical and unfair’ criticising operator NativeCredit: instagram/@kampusmcr

An accompanying letter blamed “the introduction of the new Government backed relief programmes” and “awaiting confirmation of the appropriate reliefs”.

With some dating back to 2022, former residents have dubbed the move “unethical and unfair” criticising Native for deploying “scare tactics”.

In a statement Native said “due to delays in the government relief scheme” it has become “necessary” to reissue residents’ bills and apologised for the “complexity” of the scheme.

One former tenant, who chose not to be named, said he was a resident at Kampus from September 2022 to March 2023.

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He said he settled all his bills before leaving, but was “shocked” when he received a letter around two weeks ago telling him he owed them £820.

“Every time a bill came, I paid it,” he said. “I followed up to make sure my last bill was paid after I left, and I thought that was the end of that.

It’s immediately marked overdue, which feels like a scare tactic.

A former tenant

“Then about two weeks ago I got an email from Kampus, which I initially ignored because I thought I must’ve just been left on a mailing list.

“But then I got a notification saying I had a new bill, which was £820. I thought it was crazy.”

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He contacted Native to complain, citing Ofgem regulations, but was told the company subscribe to a different regulator – the Heat Network Billing Regulations 2014.

When he complained, he was told these regulations “permit the network operator to revised historical billing if there are insufficient funds to pay the utility suppliers”.

“It’s very unclear to me whether it is legal to do this, but it’s clearly very unethical,” he said.

“This is a big Manchester developer, and to literally just drop a bill of £820, most people can’t afford that.

“It’s immediately marked overdue, which feels like a scare tactic.”

Google reviews show this tenant is not the only one back-billed by Native.

At least eight other current or former tenants have hit out at the building’s “shameful” management online saying they have been issued bills dating back to 2022.

“Echoing previous comments regarding back-billing of energy. We didn’t switch the heating on once, as the apartment was unbearably hot anyway,” one reviewer wrote.

“Somehow they’ve decided we owe them over £300, including energy from 2022, to plug a gap due to their own inaccurate accounting.”

Another penned: “Pretty decent place to live, however I moved out about a year ago, and I was recently contacted by Ista (who are the billing agent for utilities at Kampus) saying the historical rates residents were paying need to be changed and I’ve been landed with bills for hundreds of pounds (nearly £1,000!).

“Enough said really. Highly disappointed.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Native said: “Due to delays in the government relief scheme and the provision of the EBRS (Energy Bill Relief Scheme) programme, it has become necessary to reissue Kampus residents with recalculated bills from 1st October 2022.

“Action taken by ISTA, Native’s independent specialist billing agent, is in line with The Heat Network Billing Regulations 2014, which seeks to ensure tenants are charged actual supply rates (including the aforementioned government relief schemes).

“Native is sorry the complexity of the relief scheme has impacted some Kampus residents over the past month.


“ISTA is offering payment plans to residents past and present who need support with their bills.”

The Sun has approached Kampus for comment.

Heat Network Regulations

THE regulations were launched in 2014 and updated in November 2020 with new obligations for “heat suppliers”.

What is a heat network?

Heat networks (also known as district heating) supply heat from a central source to consumers, via a network of underground pipes carrying hot water.

Heat networks can cover a large area or even an entire city, or be fairly local supplying a small cluster of buildings.

This avoids the need for individual boilers or electric heaters in every building.

If your home is on a heat network:

  • You can’t switch your heat network supplier
  • You might pay your heating bills to a management company or housing association – if you’re renting this might be part of your rent
  • You might have to pay for maintenance costs – how much you need to pay can change over time

How to comply – and what’s changed since November 2020

Since the regulations were launched in 2014, heat suppliers have been required to notify BEIS of each heat network they operate, and then renotify every four years.

Suppliers of district heating have been required to install accurate building level heat meters.

Suppliers of communal and district heating have also been required to install final customer heat meters and temperature control devices, where cost-effective and technically feasible.

There is a duty to maintain these meters, check they are working and bill customers accurately for their consumption.


Jonathan Rose

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