Dispute over landlord or tenants utility bill

Dispute over landlord or tenants utility bill

11:10 AM, 20th August 2014, About 10 years ago 21

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Dispute over landlord or tenants utility bill

My tenant left an unpaid utility bill, the utility account was never in her name but the partner who always paid the bill until he left her.

She then left about 3 weeks later by informing me but left the key in my post box (I live next door) when I was not at home, so I could not ask/check anything.

2 months later, the new tenants gives me letter addressed to “legal home owner”, which was from a debt recovery company.

I wrote to British Gas who provided the service stating the facts with details of the tenants. I spoke to them and found out that the tenancy was in Julie’s name but the account with British gas was John’s. John had told the British gas that he was leaving, this was about 3 weeks before Julie. I was unaware until I spoke to British gas that Julie was not paying for anything until she finally left 3 weeks later.

British gas told me that John’s account was closed and 3 weeks later, my new tenant’s account was opened, so the time in between was for landlord to pay.

Having given them an account of what happened, British gas has accepted that it is Julie’s responsibility to pay the unpaid bill as she was living during the period in question. However, they have not yet, stopped the debt recovery company from doing anything…. where do I stand in all this?



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Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

11:12 AM, 20th August 2014, About 10 years ago

It is not uncommon for the left hand to know what the right hand is doing when it comes to dealing with utility companies and their debt collectors.

I suggest you contact British Gas and ask them to confirm the situation in writing. When you have this send a copy to the debt collectors and hopefully that will be the last you hear of the matter.


19:02 PM, 20th August 2014, About 10 years ago

Britiah gas do this to me all time and are currently doing it now for about the 100th time. I had a tenant once who owed them £900 and they wouldnt leave ME alone!! ive worked out that what british gas do now, they know the tenant is liable but if for what ever reason they are un able to recover it from the tenant they will just keep sending the bill to the landlord over and over again in the hope that eventually the landlord will pay it. Be strong, stick to your guns, keep hounding them and they will eventually wipe the account clean and go away.

aga smart

7:21 AM, 21st August 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Rob " at "20/08/2014 - 19:02":

Thanks for this info, do they ever ask for tenancy agreement to confoirm that the tenant is responsible to pay the bill?


2:43 AM, 23rd August 2014, About 10 years ago

Never had a utiliity company ask for a tenancy agreement, only the council have ever asked me that for un paid council tax. But if it proves they were living there during a certain period then give them a copy.

All BankersAreBarstewards Smith

8:24 AM, 23rd August 2014, About 10 years ago

it has taken Eon 10 months to finally close an account in my name which was connected with a tenancy.....

utility wheels grind slow

aga smart

10:10 AM, 23rd August 2014, About 10 years ago

I am not yet off the hook as such! I am not completly worry free but feel little relaxed since the first answer from Mark A!! Thanks a lot to him and all of you!

I got a reply from British Gas in a reply to my letter. They said that either landlord or the Tenant will have to contact the LCS, the debt recovering company. So I called British gas and they said that as it has already gone to the LCS, we can't "pull it back", whihc I was asking. However, they have agreed to send me the bill in the name of the tenant at my address. I hope that will prove that landlord is not responsible to pay the bill and I can send the copy to LCS to stop bugging me.

I will welcome and comments on this please?

All BankersAreBarstewards Smith

10:32 AM, 23rd August 2014, About 10 years ago

"can't pull it back "???? what a load of old cobblers...... you do NOT want a bill at your address in anyone's elses name - BG/debt company will send you letters for ages at your home address and this could compromise you later down the line...

get BG/debt recovery to agree to find the tenant and chase them for the money .. give BG/Debt recovery all the help you can - provide them with tenant's DOB national insurance number, phone numbers, work place etc etc.... then they can chase tenant without involving you or your address....

good luck

aga smart

12:03 PM, 23rd August 2014, About 10 years ago

Oh dear!!! I may have invited more problems now from what you have said. wonder how LCS or any debt recovery find people that disappear to escape from paying their debts?

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118

13:56 PM, 23rd August 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "aga smart" at "23/08/2014 - 12:03":

See our legal section, then the people tracing section in the drop down menu

All BankersAreBarstewards Smith

14:25 PM, 23rd August 2014, About 10 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "aga smart" at "23/08/2014 - 12:03":

it is frighteningly easy for all of us to be found if someone has our phone number - all the other info I mentioned above is an add bonus for tracing agents/detectives.....

no one can hide anymore..... utilities just want the easy option - they will go for whoever is the easiest/cheapest to find - usually the landlord - which is why if you provide information for them about the tenant - and they still chase you the Regulator or Ombudsman will not look kindly on them.

I managed to get Eon to write off the "void period" electric and gas standing charges in between my problem tenant's departure and my refurbing and getting a new one.... I argued that because they mucked me about for so long, I needed some recompense for the time, stress and inconvenience - and I did mention a possible official Watchdog body complaint.....

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