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Direct Energy Backs Down on Hot Water Tank Contract Changes After Public Outcry - But Good Lesson When Selling Your House

Toronto and GTA Consumer Voices are Heard!   Direct Energy Backs Down.

After a public relations nightmare, Direct Energy backs down on their water tank contract changes.

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In a statement issued late Thursday afternoon, the utility company said it will not change "terms and conditions of our water heater contracts" at this time.  (Under the proposed agreement, if a contract was cancelled, the renter would have had to pay a buy-out fee of between $200 and $3,000, depending on the size and year of the tank.) 

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An apology from Direct Energy hardly seems enough to those consumers who felt forced to pay out their Hot Water Tanks prior to the proposed changeover.

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Currently, if a heater is rented from Direct Energy, it can be removed at no cost, or for a small fee.

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Realtors are still advised to ensure a clause is added to all offers where there is an existing rental that either the Buyer agrees to assume the existing Hot Water Tank Rental or that the Seller agrees to remove the HWT at his expense prior to closing.

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Whenever you buy or sell real estate you should review all "rental/leased" items with your realtor. As a Seller, if your furnace or your security system is being paid on a long term committment plan - these items should be reviewed well in advance of any offers to ensure no surprises happen on closing.  

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Address these items, in writing, in your Listing and Agreement of Purchase and Sale if you wish to negotiate that the Buyer assumes any of these responsibilities, otherwise ensure arrangements are made for full payout.

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Sample clauses for a Hot Water Tank Rental when Selling Your Home (can be edited to reflect a Home Monitoring System etc):
 

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Buyer agrees to assume the existing Hot Water Tank Rental Agreement with Direct Energy in the amount of $______

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or

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Seller agrees to payout the existing Hot Water Tank Rental, at his expense, prior to closing. The Hot Water Tank shall be in good working order at time of closing and shall remain in the premises and is being included in the purchase price.

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These are just general sample clauses. Each situation is different and consumers need to discuss which clauses/wording is right for their situation with their realtor or solicitor.

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If you have a real estate question in the Toronto or surrounding area call our offices at 416-896-3333 or 905-896-3333

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