Unauthorised access and water cut off by Commercial Landlord

by Readers Question

9:12 AM, 19th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Unauthorised access and water cut off by Commercial Landlord

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Unauthorised access and water cut off by Commercial Landlord

My partner is always having problems with her commercial landlord. Bottom-line – The property is shared between 4 different businesses and they all share the water bill. The landlord surprised her with a £900.00 water bill for her nursery dated since 2013.water

She asked for a breakdown, his VAT registration number and why 20% VAT is being charged on the invoice. The invoice had no company name or VAT reg number on it, only a woman’s name. He declined to answer the questions and threatened to cut off the water supply for the nursery if the bill wasn’t paid with 4 weeks.

Last night, he used his spare key to gain entry into the nursery without authorisation and cut the water supply. As children are involved and so as not to shut down the nursery for the day, she paid the bill.

Is he allowed to do this? Is he allowed to enter the nursery without permission at night? What can she do about this? Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Pete



Comments

NEIL T

11:28 AM, 19th May 2016
About 3 years ago

You may be best to put this question on a more dedicated commercial property site.
My experience as a commercial Landlord is that my solicitor advised me never to enter a property at night - for repossession purposes. Of course there is no repossession here but the Landlord would need to give you a minimum of 24 hours notice to enter your property for emergency purposes; which wouldn't include cutting off your supply!
Do find a dedicated solicitor who specialises in Commercial property, I'd think that your Landlord is on pretty shaky ground here.

Rob Crawford

12:38 PM, 19th May 2016
About 3 years ago

I agree with Neilt. Find a solicitor who understands commercial property law, they will normally give you 15 mins free consultation on the phone. You can then decide on what to do. If you can, I would see no reason as to why you should not turn the water back on!

Stephen Smith

11:15 AM, 20th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Hi,

Even the supply authorities cannot cut off the supply for non-payment, as other utilities can, to do with sanitation issues I believe. Entering unauthorised amounts to a trespass since the lessee has exclusive rights.
As for the bill is depends what the lease indicates. Are all tenants jointly and severally liable? I find it difficult to believe that one tenant is liable for the debts of another.
If the landlord has the right of access (?), it should be reasonably exercised.
The landlord cannot charge VAT since he has not supplied the product. Every VAT invoice should have a valid VAT number on it in any event

Pete Moore

14:28 PM, 20th May 2016
About 3 years ago

Thanks all for your comments and advise. I shall pass the message over to my partner. Thanks.


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