Utility Bill unpaid by previous T- can supplier disconnect?

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    #16
    Originally posted by Preston View Post
    Exactly where is this made apparent?

    Section 1 (1) reads:

    1. Unlawful interception.— (1) It shall be an offence for a person intentionally and without lawful authority to intercept, at any place in the United Kingdom, any communication in the course of its transmission by means of—
    (a)a public postal service; or
    (b)a public telecommunication system

    (My highlighting).



    You are right that advice on a website is not an authoritative statement of the law. I have pointed out twice that I am not familiar with the case law in this area. I mentioned the advice because it may be an indication that the posting of a letter through a letter box may not always be the end of the delivery process.

    The other conditions are or course important. Again, it will be interesting to hear more about the relevant case law.

    And I'm sorry, its not obvious to me at all that it would be reasonable to open a letter several months after a tenant has left the property on the basis that it revealed important information about a debt which they owed, especially when there are very simple methods available to deal with the issue at hand, namely contacting the utility companies and explaining that the tenant is no longer resident.

    Interesting, though, that the CAB agree with my interpretation (the reference that MTG reminded us of).

    Preston
    Two question marks then;

    1) does the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 apply to joe public?

    2) what is the definition of 'transmission' in terms of the act?

    May I suggest that the very name of the act Regulation of Investigatory Powers, indicates that it isnt applicable to joe public who to my knowledge dont have any Investigatory Powers?

    In terms of "without reasonable Excuse", I think the length of time since the tenant left only hightens the need to open the letter and even if we disagree on that, the first requirement still hasnt been satisfied "intending to act to a persons detriment"

    Good olde CAB.

    Comment


      #17
      Originally posted by Planner View Post
      Two question marks then;

      1) does the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 apply to joe public?

      2) what is the definition of 'transmission' in terms of the act?

      May I suggest that the very name of the act Regulation of Investigatory Powers, indicates that it isnt applicable to joe public who to my knowledge dont have any Investigatory Powers?

      In terms of "without reasonable Excuse", I think the length of time since the tenant left only hightens the need to open the letter and even if we disagree on that, the first requirement still hasnt been satisfied "intending to act to a persons detriment"

      Good olde CAB.
      The answer to 1 is yes.

      My reading of the legislation and all the secondary sources I have read - including now the CAB website - suggest that mail which is addressed to a former occupant would be covered by the Act, but I think a little further research is required to identify the precise authorities for this. I will take a look at this, but hopefully someone else will beat me to it.

      With regard to the Postal Services Act, again, a bit more information is needed on reasonableness and detriment. If my understanding of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act is correct, though, the answer may be slightly academic.

      Anyway, lets see what further information can be turned up.

      Preston

      Comment


        #18
        Interesting thread! Two points - first - contacting the utility cos. to give them the relevant up-to-date situation is fine provided they actually know what they are doing. When I first moved into my flat - the previous owner had notified the electricity supplier with her final reading. I contacted them to let them know I was the new occupier etc. That's when the trouble started. It took me6 months (during which time I received no bills) to persuade them that I did NOT have a key meter. The previous owner had had the key meter replaced with a nice shiny new meter 7 months before I purchased the property. In the end I worked out where the problem arose and sent an extremely detailed (and VERY ANGRY letter) threatening to contact the regulator unless they sorted it out. It then took them another month to finally agree that I was correct. They did deduct £40 from the bill owing as a good will gesture.

        Second. If a tenant wishes their mail to be forwarded to their new address, they can simply arrange with the Post Office for their forwarding service. It is not expensive and has certainly worked well for me.
        Mrs Jones
        I am not an expert - my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as fact!!

        Comment


          #19
          Originally posted by Mrs Jones View Post
          Interesting thread! Two points - first - contacting the utility cos. to give them the relevant up-to-date situation is fine provided they actually know what they are doing. When I first moved into my flat - the previous owner had notified the electricity supplier with her final reading. I contacted them to let them know I was the new occupier etc. That's when the trouble started. It took me6 months (during which time I received no bills) to persuade them that I did NOT have a key meter. The previous owner had had the key meter replaced with a nice shiny new meter 7 months before I purchased the property. In the end I worked out where the problem arose and sent an extremely detailed (and VERY ANGRY letter) threatening to contact the regulator unless they sorted it out. It then took them another month to finally agree that I was correct. They did deduct £40 from the bill owing as a good will gesture.
          Yes, I've had this sort of problem too. I don't think opening someone else's mail would have helped though?

          Originally posted by Mrs Jones View Post
          Second. If a tenant wishes their mail to be forwarded to their new address, they can simply arrange with the Post Office for their forwarding service. It is not expensive and has certainly worked well for me.

          Yes again. I have moved house several times over the years and used the mail forwarding service on a number of occasions. Its expensive to keep going for a long period of time. And it often goes wrong too!

          Like you I find this thread interesting. Am I alone in thinking that personal mail should be protected? It would upset me considerably to think that someone moving into my previous home after I had left might routinely open my personal correspondence. I'm actually quite glad there is a law which, so it seems, makes this illegal!

          Preston

          Comment


            #20
            Section 1 of RIPA 2000 does apply to anyone, not only public authorities, as it imposes criminal sanctions by s.1 et al. It covers - so far as concerns post- "any communication in the course of its transmission by means of a public postal service" [as defined]; after delivery, it isn't.
            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


              #21
              Originally posted by Preston View Post
              Like you I find this thread interesting. Am I alone in thinking that personal mail should be protected? It would upset me considerably to think that someone moving into my previous home after I had left might routinely open my personal correspondence. I'm actually quite glad there is a law which, so it seems, makes this illegal!Preston
              It would be OK if, on opening your post, the new occupants disposed of the junk mail, paid your bills, attended your dental appointments, and were embarrassed on your behalf by the final demands/letters from the bank, or by letters from your child's school telling you how lazy he is.

              As long as they forwarded any cheques, books from Amazon, or other 'goodies', might it not be quite a satisfactory arrangement....?
              '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


                #22
                Originally posted by mind the gap View Post
                It would be OK if, on opening your post, the new occupants disposed of the junk mail, paid your bills, attended your dental appointments, and were embarrassed on your behalf by the final demands/letters from the bank, or by letters from your child's school telling you how lazy he is.

                As long as they forwarded any cheques, books from Amazon, or other 'goodies', might it not be quite a satisfactory arrangement....?
                I have just changed my mind.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Already-delivered post is protected by the Postal Services Act; post still being delivered is protected by RIPA.
                  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


                    #24
                    Interesting discussion. Glad we came to a conclusion.

                    Comment


                      #25
                      Originally posted by danycrixx
                      Catch the tenants and tell them to pay the bill or you need to pay the bills or otherwise it may lead to the disconnecting of the services.
                      Since new users are (quite sensibly) barred from including links in their posts, why are they able/allowed to include them in their signatures?

                      If it's not technically feasible to apply this rule to signatures, why not just block URLs from signatures, full stop? I don't think I can ever recall seeing a signature link that wasn't being used for spam.

                      (Fatuous-reply-to-dead-thread-spam reported)

                      Comment

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