Tenant gave fraudulent information to Utility provider

by Readers Question

4 years ago

Tenant gave fraudulent information to Utility provider

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Tenant gave fraudulent information to Utility provider

I’ve just found out that a Tenant who has now left put my name in his energy bills 1 month before he left. Eon have said that I am liable – I was not informed of this and had no notification until I saw a bill after he had gone.

It’s only for £40 but it’s the principle as he gave over fraudulent information. All his tenancy paperwork etc had his correct leaving information but eon are not interested , is there anything I can do about this and also to stop this happening again?

Thanks

JamesUtility



Comments

Neil Patterson

4 years ago

Hi James,

Can I ask if you normally take meter readers and inform the utility companies on the date tenants move out?

If you haven't already you need to escalate your enquiries with Eon officially to their complaints procedure as you will then have redress to the ombudsman if you do not get anywhere.

matchmade

4 years ago

I agree with Neil: you shouldn't stand for this, not just for yourself but for every other landlord in the country! This sort of thing needs to be resisted, because organisations like Thames Water have already tried to make landlords responsible for all water bills, no matter who is occupying the property. If other utilities like EOn think they can solve the problem of absconding tenants and debt collection by passing it over to landlords, it will be a major step backwards.

If EOn regard their behaviour as perfectly normal here, what is to stop any tenant just ringing them up and nominating their landlord or their mortal enemy Joe Bloggs as the new person with responsibility for the bills? If a tenant rings up nominating someone else to take over the account, EOn should first verify with the new person that they accept responsibility for the bills, not just blindly accept the tenant's version of events.

Be prepared and get every piece of evidence you can find to prove the date your tenant moved out and that the tenant was responsible under the tenancy agreement for all bills up to that date. I doubt EOn have got a leg to stand on.

James Howes

4 years ago

Hi, no I've never given a meeting reading before as the tenants have done it for me. I've emailed Eon now for the 3rd time and told them I will not be paying this. My concern is the same as Tony's - how do I prevent my tenant ringing them without my knowledge and changing a hefty bill to my name - they don't even ring you to confirm the details. I've got lots of evidence so will escalate this if necessary.

Mandy Thomson

4 years ago

I had a not dissimilar issue some years ago when someone (a total stranger to me) rang Thames Water and gave my residential property address as HIS address - the first I knew was when I received a final bill from Thames Water closing my account and a new account in the other person's name. I can only assume he was doing this to fraudulently obtain proof of address. At the time, I was shocked that Thames Water were happy to merely accept the stranger at his word, without even thinking to verify with me - they of course couldn't see anything wrong with this...

I am really surprised though, that with all the publicity around identity theft this is apparently still happening, and that utility bills are still accepted as gold standard proof of address. There is honestly more security around making a small online purchase.

This carelessness is also compounding the issue at hand around who is responsible for utility bills - as suggested, it seems utility companies couldn't care less so long as someone - anyone - pays. When I bought my second buy to let, Npower seemed unable to understand the concept of a landlord having short term responsibility for the bills then handing this over to tenants.

James Howes

4 years ago

so do you think there is something I can do about this?

Jay James

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "James Howes" at "11/09/2014 - 15:32":

Hi James

As Neil Patterson said above "If you haven’t already you need to escalate your enquiries with Eon officially to their complaints procedure as you will then have redress to the ombudsman if you do not get anywhere."

That is what you need to do.
Although time consuming (several weeks perhaps), an ombudsman could bring a reasonable resolution.

Mark Hulbert

4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "James Howes" at "11/09/2014 - 15:32":

Not only can you do something about it but you MUST defend the principle of landlords not being responsible for any bill that a tenant refuses to pay. It's only a tiny amount this time but next time....? Whilst we're on the subject, does anyone know under which legislation councils try to make landlords responsible for council tax on i) single lets where the tenant absconds, or ii) HMO's? Councils like to quote their own rules but the legal support for these rules is often obscure.

Karen Archer

4 years ago

I recently had this problem, tenant used my name for 18 months. Report it as a crime, report it to the fraud department. E.on do not have their own specialist fraud department but instigate the complaints procedure, ask for a transcript of the calls under the data protection act. From the transcript you will find out what phone number was being used and if you actually state that they have breached your rights under the data protection act, they will come to some arrangement with you. The worrying thing is the tenant has a document that gives them the right to get other credit in your name,

Yelena Dash

4 years ago

I am currently trying to resolve a similar problem with EON: the tenant left before the end of a fixed term tenancy, called EON, and provided them not only with a moving out date, which nobody can verify, but what's worse with much lower meter readings. Now Eon is determined to charge me a huge bill for the period between the tenant's leaving date and the date the new tenant moved in.

I did the property inspection not long before the tenant moved out and took meter readings, which I provided to EON, however, their answer was " we cannot change the readings provided by your tenant".

Basically, they refer to this as a third party dispute (between me and the tenant). My view is that if they want me to pay and I don't accept this, the dispute is between me and EON. Unless the information and meter readings on the bill are accepted by me (and they can prove they are correct), in no way I am going to pay the bill.

EON' complaint procedure is a shambles. Taking it to the Ombudsman now and see what happens.

Re. Council Tax, he also notified the council that he moved out in Mar-14 although he actually moved out sometime in June. However, I sent his fixed term tenancy and for the new tenant to the Council (Braintree) and they accepted that I am not responsible for anything.

Neil Robb

4 years ago

It is unbelievable how these companies work. We had a different thread about this a few weeks back.

Power NI will not let the landlord put the account in the tenants name without them phoning in themselves.

In Scotland very different story this is why I have prepayment meters in most of my properties and I ask the tenant to phone up to put the account in their names and few days later I phone back to check this has been done.

Please be careful that this does not end up affecting your credit rating so while you dispute this make sure the debt does not escalate. I don't know if you can pay the amount under protest and put a compliant into the ombudsman straight away demanding a full refund and compensation.

Point to not these company's know that if they muck you about long enough the chances are you will give up so keep going.

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