Liability for electricity bills

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    Liability for electricity bills

    Good morning all.

    My son moved in to a 1 bed flat with his partner last October signing a 6 month lease.

    Due to various problems with it ie

    Shower not working for 2/3 weeks
    Extensive damp
    Cooker working intermitantly

    They left the flat teminating the lease properly agrring to pay the rent until the termination date (Appril 2008).

    The landlord has now hit them with a £580.00 bill for electricity.

    Now I own a 3 bed extended semi, with gas central heating electric cooker etc and my bills only come to £100 month

    The bill is typed in the landlords name which has VAT shown sepertely.

    Questions are, does the landlord need a licence to re-sell power? can we demand to see the priginal power bill?

    I am also sure that he cannot add VAT on the invoice as he is not VAT registered as it is not shown on the bill can (his registration number that is)

    Cheers

    #2
    Two things.

    1) What does it say in his tenancy agreement about who is liable for the bill?

    2) If the bill is not in his name, then I don't think the LL can charge him for it.

    Comment


      #3
      Electricity bills have VAT on them. I guess he is just disclosing the VAT on the original bill, so I think you are reading too much into that.
      The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Grange View Post
        Electricity bills have VAT on them. I guess he is just disclosing the VAT on the original bill, so I think you are reading too much into that.
        I have just spoken to HMC&E (who were very helpfull) and they have said that he (the LL) cannot issue any bills to my son with VAT showing unless he is VAT registered and then he show is VAT number. They have also stated that he cannot merely duplicate another companies invoice (the energy supplier).

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by midlifecrisis View Post
          They have also stated that he cannot merely duplicate another companies invoice (the energy supplier).
          But so what. Nobody is going to prosecute him for it. And if your son refuses to pay the VAT element then L will reclaim it through the courts.

          Argue about the quantum if you wish; argue about the liability. But you're wasting your time on the VAT.
          The contents of this note are neither advice nor a definitive answer. If you plan to rely on this, you should pay somebody for proper advice.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Grange View Post
            But so what. Nobody is going to prosecute him for it. And if your son refuses to pay the VAT element then L will reclaim it through the courts.

            Argue about the quantum if you wish; argue about the liability. But you're wasting your time on the VAT.
            He has issued a false instrument claiming VAT that he is not entitled to therfore we want a bonafida invoice. Claiming VAT when you are not registered is a criminal offence. I just want the right documents

            Comment


              #7
              My resident L's £3600 electricity bill

              I have moved into a flat four months ago which currently has 2 other tennants, one being the landlady. She herself is not registered to live here and so is avoiding paying council tax. I have never really trusted her with anything (especially financially) and I handed in my notice a couple of days ago.

              Yesterday i came back from my christmas break to find stuffed in our letterbox crumpled up was a letter from our electricity suppliers demanding the landlady pays an unpaid bill of £3600. As stated on the letter, somebody had come round to the house to discuss the bill with her. It said that within 7 days of this letter she could either 1) have somebody come round to install a pay as you go electricity meter 2)summon her to court 3)give her a credit rating or something along those lines and there was also a 4th option which i can't remember.

              I asked her about this when she came in last night and she just laughed it off asying that she doesn't owe that much and they're 'just trying to scare her'. I don't trust her one bit though, and today she's left the house unusually early and to me this suggests she doesn't want to deal with anybody coming round to the house. Before she came in i showed my other flatmate the letter and he took down her account details from the letter for if anything happens.

              This bill suggests she has not paid her electrics for a very very long time, and i have no idea what she's playing at because with the rent she's been recieving from tenants over the years she could easily have paid it. I'm just wondering what will happen if/when the suppliers follow up on this and come round to the house? Is there any way they can take all my stuff? Should me or the other tenant contact the gas suppliers ourselves?

              Any advice would be much appreciated,

              Mike

              Comment


                #8
                1. L was trying to deceive at least the Local Authority (Council Tax). You're well out of it, I feel.
                2. Since the Electricity bill is in L's name, though, why are you worrying about it?
                3. Finally, remember that L is resident so you + other occupants are merely lodgers without any security; the Housing Act 1988 does not apply (and you do not hold an AST, even if that's what document you were given) because she is a resident L.
                JEFFREY SHAW, solicitor [and Topic Expert], Nether Edge Law*
                1. Public advice is believed accurate, but I accept no legal responsibility except to direct-paying private clients.
                2. Telephone advice: see http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?t=34638.
                3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by mikegrant View Post
                  I'm just wondering what will happen if/when the suppliers follow up on this and come round to the house? Is there any way they can take all my stuff?
                  Totally agree with what Jeffrey's said; if you're concerned about the supplier's 'taking your stuff' don't even consider it as an issue: for a start, if they are still at the stage of writing threatening letters to your LL they still have to take her to court, get a CCJ registered against her, and only then, when she still doesn't pay up then they might eventually think about attempting to have bailiffs come in and take her possessions. All that would take many many months to happen, so even if it did, you'll presumably be long gone.

                  Also if you LL is fiddling the council tax I hardly think it's likely she's declaring her rent income to the Inland Revenue, so I suspect she's going to keep very quiet to any of the authorities about the fact that she's had lodgers!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    "...put de lime in de coconut, she's
                    Such a silly woman..."

                    (Nilsson)
                    'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Okay, thankyou very much for your help. It's the first time i've had to deal with these matters so i didn't have any idea as to what the procedures were. As eric pointed out above, i'll be long gone before any of my mentioned concerns could come to pass so that's a great weight off my mind.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Wickerman
                        Great song. Used on the soundtrack to Reservoir Dogs?
                        Yes! And originally (I think) the B side to Nilsson's sloppy song 'Without You'. Very unfairly, as it was the better production by far.
                        'Pause you who read this, and think for a moment of the long chain of iron or gold, of thorns or flowers, that would never have bound you, but for the formation fo the first link on one memorable day'. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Refusing to pay Electricity

                          I have five tenants in a HMO, two left recently racking up the electricity bill leaving lights/heating on 24/7, then leaving not paying there share of the bill. (Tenants responsible for bill not Landlord) the bill is five time higher than normal. Now the remaining three are refusing to pay this bill. They want me the Landlord to pay. We also have two new tenants that have just moved in. The electricity company is about to cut off the supply.

                          Although I fully sympathize with the tenants, I can not allow the supply to be cut as this will cause all sorts of further problems and the new tenants are innocent of this. All tenants are up to date with rent

                          Can anybody advise on how to resolve this.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Hi.

                            I had a similar situation and i took the monies from the deposit of the ones that left.

                            What you can also do to avoid it being disconnected is change the accounts to the names of the new tenants, making a fresh start. Then add the names of the other three tenants later.

                            The old account will then be nothing to do with the new tenants and they can not touch the supply. Give them the address for the two people who have left and they can deal with it as they will chase them for the amount owed - and rightly so.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Unpaid electricity bills addressed to tenants

                              owing to the period of uncertainty in the last six months whilst trying to sell a property (buyer needed vacant possession whilst I needed tenants until absolutely sure of sale ) I took on 2 tenants without a formal tenancy agreement. Now that the sale is completed and tenants moved on I find that these last 2 tenants did not contact electricity supplier at the start of their tenancy to put the account in their name-( I know it is my responsibility to do this but previous tenants over recent years had done it themselves , so I had got out of the habit ) I now have a bill over £1000. ( in my name ) I do have a forwarding address for one of the 2 tenants and I don't think they are dishonest . How should I handle this ?

                              Comment

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