Previous Tenants Energy Debt effecting new tenant

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    Previous Tenants Energy Debt effecting new tenant

    My last Tenant did not pay their Energy Bills (Gas & Electric) and was eventually cut off. However once they left the property and i tried to reconnect the energy the supplier tried to hold me I was responsible for the bills. I eventually argued the case that it was on an AST agreement. However when my new tenant moved in the energy supplier would not let them change to a new supplier and inserted a pre paid meter. This has obviously been a nuisance and it seems like my new tenant and myself have been penalised for the last tenants debt. How can I move from the restraints of this energy supplier, surly it cant be legal?

    #2
    How is the energy provider preventing them from moving to a new supplier?
    When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
    Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

    Comment


      #3
      Just need chat with supplier. I've had this a couple of times.

      Sometimes necessary to email CEO, explain options to go elsewhere and how powerful social media is.

      Always sorted in my experience.
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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        #4
        Do the above..... they are being a bully on the off chance you will pay the bill.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by jpkeates View Post
          How is the energy provider preventing them from moving to a new supplier?
          After reconnecting the energy with the current supplier. The new tenant wanted to switch provider which of course I said was fine. However the current provider told them they couldlnt do so because the account had been in arrears and that they needed to insert a pre paid meter, the new tenant now has to buy those pre paid cards from the shop.

          Comment


            #6
            Mavis808 There's nothing the supplier can do to stop the tenant changing supplier.
            They're just bullying you and the tenant in the hope someone will pay the debt.

            It's possible any new supplier will insist on a prepaid meter though.
            When I post, I am expressing an opinion - feel free to disagree, I have been wrong before.
            Please don't act on my suggestions without checking with a grown-up (ideally some kind of expert).

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Mavis808 View Post
              the current provider told them they couldlnt do so because the account had been in arrears
              Total bulls***, and as said bullying.

              The new tenants have a new account - Which has nothing to do with the arrears on the old account.

              I'd tell them to ignore the current supplier, contact their prefered supplier and switch, then get the new supplier to change the meter if they don't want to pre-pay.

              The old supplier cannot prevent the switch unless there are arrears on their (new) account, which there should not be if it's pre-pay.

              Comment


                #8
                You need to check that your new tenant is not paying off the old tenants debt - it is sometimes left on the account and each time they top it up part of the credit goes to pay off the debt.

                The debt does not belong to you, the house or the new tenant - it belongs to the old tenant but that won't stop some companies trying to get their money from anyone stupid enough to pay it.

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                  #9
                  Agree with all that above - change supplier asap. I just had something a bit similar being chased by a debt collection company on behalf of British Gas. Took far too many emails to get it sorted but we got there. In our case there wasn't even any debt, just British Gas incorrectly applying payments.

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                    #10
                    Contact the energy ombudsman.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by nukecad View Post
                      Total bulls***, and as said bullying.

                      The new tenants have a new account - Which has nothing to do with the arrears on the old account.

                      I'd tell them to ignore the current supplier, contact their prefered supplier and switch, then get the new supplier to change the meter if they don't want to pre-pay.

                      The old supplier cannot prevent the switch unless there are arrears on their (new) account, which there should not be if it's pre-pay.
                      In fact they did. The New Tenant contacted a new supplier who said they couldnt do the switch as the current supplier is preventing them from doing so. I think i'll have to step in and write to the Ombudsmen.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Agree..... its a cartel in the making..... get onto the Ombudsmen.

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                          #13
                          I would get tenant to write and email under heading Formal complaint.
                          i have often found you get better service then!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Mavis808 View Post
                            In fact they did. The New Tenant contacted a new supplier who said they couldnt do the switch as the current supplier is preventing them from doing so. I think i'll have to step in and write to the Ombudsmen.
                            In that case it seems that the supplier is attempting to apply the old tenants debt to the new tenants account, and telling the new supplier that there is over £500 debt on the account so they can't switch - not true as long as the new tenants have registered as a new account at that address.
                            Although I believe that the new supplier can refuse to an account with debt there should not be any debt here.
                            https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/consumers/h...if-you-re-debt

                            One thing I would double check is that the pre-pay meter was not installed when the old tenant was there.

                            If it was and the new tenants are still using the same top-up card/key then they are still using the old account, with the debt still on it.

                            When I moved into my current rental it took a week or so to get new pre-pay card issued for my new account. (It's supposed to be quicker now).
                            Luckily in my case the old tenant had put it on emergency credit so the standing charge wasn't being taken and there was some emergency left for supply.
                            Once I got the new card everything I put on it was for my S/C and usage responsibility, not the previous tenants.
                            (So in effect I got a bit of free gas, about £4, that went onto their debt).

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