One Redditor in the Czech Republic recently said their landlord has threatened a dramatic increase in their utility bills, even though their lease clearly states an agreed-upon fixed rate.
Gas and electricity prices have skyrocketed over the last year. Euronews reported that since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, prices have almost doubled in every capital in Europe, including the Czech city of Prague, where this Redditor lives.
But that dramatic price increase, which helped ignite a clean energy investing boom in Europe, shouldn’t have affected this user.
“In the contract we agreed on a fixed rate for utilities,” they said. “The energy bills were not previously under my name.”
In January, however, they said that the landlord insisted on transferring the increased bills to the Redditor, a move that would come with a penalty.
“The catch is that since we are not Czech, they are saying that the energy bills will increase 10x, unless I can find someone who is a Czech citizen willing to put their signature to the bill,” the original poster said. “I have Czech friends, but feel it would not be fair to make them sign on to something like this.”
Generally, a landlord should not be able to make changes like this in the middle of a contract. As one commenter pointed out, “Do you think he would give you a discount if utilities suddenly became cheaper? HA.”
The demand seems even more outrageous because of the Czech Republic’s new law on energy prices. The International Energy Agency reported that as of November, there’s a cap on gas and electricity prices. Electricity is limited to six Czech korunas (about $0.27 USD) per kilowatt hour, and gas should be half that price.
Redditors agreed that the landlord couldn’t actually charge the original poster ten times the original price, regardless of whether they were a citizen or not.
“Of course the cost can’t be 10x more; it’s always same, but the landlord just wants to force you to transfer the energy [bill] to you,” said one user.
Another commenter advised, “Is the fixed rate a part of your contract? Don’t sign anything until its about to expire. He may be trying the same as a lot of energy providers here do, basically trying to trick customers to switch from their fixed rate.”
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