Utility Bill unpaid by previous T- can supplier disconnect?

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  • Ericthelobster
    replied
    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)

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  • Planner
    replied
    Interesting discussion. Glad we came to a conclusion.

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  • jeffrey
    replied
    Already-delivered post is protected by the Postal Services Act; post still being delivered is protected by RIPA.

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  • Preston
    replied
    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.

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  • mind the gap
    replied
    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....?

    Leave a comment:


  • jeffrey
    replied
    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.

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  • Preston
    replied
    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

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  • Mrs Jones
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Preston
    replied
    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

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  • Planner
    replied
    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.

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  • islandgirl
    replied
    I agree it is a matter of choice. However it is not all about utilities. It is pretty easy to contact them at the end of a tenancy as you say. It is about all the other things people get up to....incurring debts at the address, setting up companies, being involved in all sorts of fraudulent stuff - it has all happened to me! How do you know until the baliffs / debt collectors turn up? Is it fair to the new tenant to subject them to this. Of course they have no right to touch the new tenants stuff but I have been in the situation of trying to persuade someone that I was not the person with the debt. Understandably I suppose (given that that is what most debtors will do) he would not believe me and a walking possession order was put on MY goods...yes I sorted it out pretty sharpish and received an apology from the boss but it was a pain...Once again, it is up to you to decide.

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  • Preston
    replied
    Originally posted by Planner View Post
    I think its pretty aparent that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 only applies to public bodies/government/police/inteligence services etc and not joe public. Im affraid I cant find anything in section 1 that would apply to joe public or any individual not attached to one of the above bodies/organisations.
    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).

    Originally posted by Planner View Post
    Therefore the relevant piece of legislation is the Postal Services act, and in particular the section listed. While im sure you will agree, its very nice of the post office to give advice, its not really what we are dicussing here. In terms of the postal service act 84 (3 );

    (3) A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person’s detriment and without reasonable excuse, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.

    I am sure you will agree, the key points are intending to act to a persons detriment and without reasonable excuse. I thinks its quite clear that the first hasnt been fulfilled in this case and a reasonable person would suggest the second has.
    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

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  • Planner
    replied
    Originally posted by Preston View Post
    Well, I'm a bit confused by your argument.

    Section 1 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act makes it clear that it applies to individuals.

    On the issue of transmission, my understanding is that this ends when the information reaches the intended recipient.

    Your extract from the Postal Services Act simply introduces another set of offences to the discussion doesn't it?

    With regard to 85(3), I know from previous experience that the Royal Mail advise a recipient of any wrongly delivered mail or mail addressed to a previous occupant to put the said mail back into the mail system to allow the process of delivery to continue. So, if a landlord receives mail addressed to a former tenant, has it been wrongly delivered for the purposes of the Postal Services Act? I know none of the case law on this issue, but if it would be so regarded, then landlords who open mail to former tenants would be commiting an offence under this Act as well as under Investigatory Powers Act.

    Will be interesting to see if anyone with knowledge of the case law is able to enlighten us further on both Acts.

    Preston
    I think its pretty aparent that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 only applies to public bodies/government/police/inteligence services etc and not joe public. Im affraid I cant find anything in section 1 that would apply to joe public or any individual not attached to one of the above bodies/organisations.

    Therefore the relevant piece of legislation is the Postal Services act, and in particular the section listed. While im sure you will agree, its very nice of the post office to give advice, its not really what we are dicussing here. In terms of the postal service act 84 (3 );

    (3) A person commits an offence if, intending to act to a person’s detriment and without reasonable excuse, he opens a postal packet which he knows or reasonably suspects has been incorrectly delivered to him.

    I am sure you will agree, the key points are intending to act to a persons detriment and without reasonable excuse. I thinks its quite clear that the first hasnt been fulfilled in this case and a reasonable person would suggest the second has.

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  • Preston
    replied
    Originally posted by islandgirl View Post
    mmm, so you don't open the mail (accidentally of course), don't know what is happening and get cut off. I know what I would do in this situation - knowledge is power, as they say and has got me out of the hot water before I fell into it before now....
    Still, up to everyone to make their own decisions.
    No one ever said that breaking the law doesn't pay somtimes.

    I guess it comes down to whether you think it is the right thing to do and whether you are prepared to risk a criminal record.

    And of course, whether the alternative is just too much hard work, namely to contact the utilities as soon as the tenant leaves so that they know to transfer the supply to your name or to that of the new tenant.

    Preston

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  • islandgirl
    replied
    mmm, so you don't open the mail (accidentally of course), don't know what is happening and get cut off. I know what I would do in this situation - knowledge is power, as they say and has got me out of the hot water before I fell into it before now....
    Still, up to everyone to make their own decisions.

    Leave a comment:

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