Utilities payments

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    Utilities payments

    What happens if a tenant leaves at the end of a tenancy agreement, deposit is returned but the utilities bills have not been paid (as is found out later on) and bills are being sent to the occupier of the property by the utility company. Who is liable? Should the letting agent or landlord sort out readings and notifications of change of tenant for utilities?

    #2
    Your AST should specify who is responsible for utilities payments. If it is to be the tenant (as it normally is) the meter readings should be taken by you and agreed with him when he moves in. You should then contact the appropriate utilities companies and pass the initial meter readings plus the new tenant's name. Tenant is then responsible for payments therafter. When tenant moves out, again read and agree the readings and pass them on. Tenant then will receive final bill. The same process should be adopted with council tax, although I find it is better to write to the LA as they tend to ignore telephone messages unless it is to their advantage!

    If your tenant agreed to pay for his utilities but has merely "forgotton" to do so, you will need to contact him and if you can get him to permit you to pass on his new address to the utility companies concerned. If you cannot, then talk to the utility compny and tell them who is liable, they may be prepared to trace and bill your ex-tenant.

    P.P.
    Any information given in this post is based on my personal experience as a landlord, what I have learned from this and other boards and elsewhere. It is not to be relied on. Definitive advice is only available from a Solicitor or other appropriately qualified person.

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      #3
      Thanks for the info. Just to clarify, the landlord therefore has no legal responsibility to pay the utilities? The bills are being sent to the property as the agent has not passed on the tenant's new address....

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        #4
        Providing the AST says it's the tenants responsibility, as PP says, then yes.

        Suggest it's in your own interests to contact the utility companies PDQ and give them the meter readings and dates of when the errant tenant moved out. If they don't have that info, the utility co's will just keep sending ever-increasing bills to the current occupier by default.

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