One woman felt “utterly shocked” to find out that she had paid the municipal utility bills for her entire home.
Natasha Prince, 26, was made aware of the problem earlier this month at her home in Swinton, Greater Manchester.
An electrician identified the problem during a routine inspection of the building MEN.
Ms. Prince’s electricity meter was found to be connected to the meter in the communal block that powers the hall lights and intercoms for the entire building.
Believing she was overwhelmed, she said she had switched electricity company several times and needed to borrow money from her family to pay the bills.
The building’s owner, ForHousing, has now resolved the issue and reimbursed Ms. Prince £ 53.20.
She said, “At first I switched my electricity supplier because I thought they were putting too much strain on me.
“An electrician came out and said he tripped a switch and called me and said he had to have access to the property to turn it on.
“He walked in and noticed that these wires were connected to my supply. He said I pay for the common areas, which are the doors, lights, and intercoms.
“They’re a 24-hour thing, so they’re running all the time.
“I went out for a week and only left the fridge-freezer on. Since the apartment uses electricity for the rest of the building, it will be turned off.”
“When I refilled, the doors opened again. I could hardly wash anything because it used so much electricity.
“I’ve wasted so much food and come back to it, flooded with water.
“I kept topping up every two days and it kept going on and off.
“Now they have taken the box out, I have refilled and I still have money left.”
Martyn Hague, ForHousing’s neighborhood director, said, “During a routine appointment at the New Street Block, one of our contractors found that Ms. Prince was doing work on the electricity meter and that it was plugged into the meter for the community block. We immediately raised this issue with Ms. Prince.
“This work was not done by ForHousing or any of our contractors. We do regular checks on the meters and in February of this year the power supply was connected as it should be.
“We are currently working with Ms. Prince to understand who did this work on her electricity meter. We will of course reimburse Ms. Prince for any additional costs she has incurred. “