Deposit and utility bills

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    Deposit and utility bills

    Hi, How does one check that the bills and council tax has been pain prior to returning the deposit? I can't call the utility companies as they would not give me account information, and the tenant would like his depost back?
    Many thanks for your help.

    #2
    Originally posted by data View Post
    Hi, How does one check that the bills and council tax has been pain prior to returning the deposit? I can't call the utility companies as they would not give me account information, and the tenant would like his depost back?
    Many thanks for your help.
    I assume you meant 'paid' rather than 'pain'?! It is usually up to the tenant to provide evidence (to you) of this. T must ask utility companies for their account statement showing that the account has been paid up and closed. Then you can authorise the release of the deposit, if that is the agreement you have come to. Technically it should not matter to you whether T has paid utility bills or not, but in practice some LLs do arrange to pay the final bills and deduct from deposit with T's agreement, to avoid endlessly being contacted by utility companies.
    '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

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      #3
      as a landlord are you liable for any of these unpaid bills as long as they are in the Ts name?

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        #4
        Originally posted by VikG View Post
        as a landlord are you liable for any of these unpaid bills as long as they are in the Ts name?

        No. The person(s) whose name(s) appear on the account must remain liable for the debt, even if they move out of the property. It is up to the utility company to chase them for the payment, although you may need to prove to UC that the tenancy has ended (show them copy of tenancy agt.)

        It is in your interest to ensure you have a contact address for the tenant after they have left your property - you may need it for your own purposes, and it helps to get the UCs off your back if you tell them where the T is. Most tenancy agreements have clause whereby T agrees to let you do this.
        '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

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          #5
          final bills

          I agree with the above. I find that simple clause in the agreement saying that copy of the paid final bills should be submitted to the Landlord etc. Al ough the debt would remain in the tenant's name, the property can be "black listed" by the utility co's, therefore problem for the Landlord in the long run.

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            #6
            All you need to you is phone the utility & council up and state you are the L/L of ------------ the tenant Mr------------- moved out on ----------- the meter readings are ---------------- the tenants new address is -------------

            JOB DONE

            As long as the bills were in the tenants name you have nothing to worry about.

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              #7
              Originally posted by MSB View Post
              I agree with the above. I find that simple clause in the agreement saying that copy of the paid final bills should be submitted to the Landlord etc. Al ough the debt would remain in the tenant's name, the property can be "black listed" by the utility co's, therefore problem for the Landlord in the long run.
              Properties are not Black listed, Its an Urban Myth. The debt belongs to the tenant and not the property. If a debt does appear on someone elses credit file it is a breach of the Data Protection Act.

              OP you cannot withhold the deposit on the basis of Bills not being paid. Clause in AST or not. Tenant could sue you for return of deposit.
              GOVERNMENT HEALTH WARNING: I am a woman and am therefore prone to episodes of PMT... if you don't like what I have to say you can jolly well put it in your pipe and SMOKE IT!!

              Oh and on a serious note... I am NOT a Legal person and therefore anything I post could be complete and utter drivel... but its what I have learned in the University called Life!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by justaboutsane View Post
                Properties are not Black listed, Its an Urban Myth. The debt belongs to the tenant and not the property. If a debt does appear on someone elses credit file it is a breach of the Data Protection Act.

                OP you cannot withhold the deposit on the basis of Bills not being paid. Clause in AST or not. Tenant could sue you for return of deposit.
                Yes, on reflection, I must agree with justaboutsane. I suppose the only way LL can withold deposit money for bills is if T still agrees to that at the time of the deposit release, for his/her convenience's sake. For example, we had an overseas student who went back to Australia without having established how much she owed for utilities, but was honest and didn't want to leave debts. So we settled the bills and sent her the receipts plus what remained from her deposit.

                And I agree about the property not being 'blacklisted' as well. Apart from anything else, once they know a different tenant is in residence, the profit-driven utility companies are hardly going to refuse to sell them energy, etc. are they?
                '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

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                  #9
                  We had a property where the T ran up very big elecy bill to the utility co so the co fitted a pay as you go one (without our knowledge) set at a higher rate to claw back the arrears.
                  The T then did a runner. The L/L doesnt like his properties having those type of meters and wanted it changed back. The utility co wouldnt do it and their reason was because that property had a history (the last tenants) of not paying the bills and running up debts.

                  So though i agree a property doesnt get credit blacklisted it may get blacklisted by the utility co.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by johnboy View Post
                    We had a property where the T ran up very big elecy bill to the utility co so the co fitted a pay as you go one (without our knowledge) set at a higher rate to claw back the arrears.
                    The T then did a runner. The L/L doesnt like his properties having those type of meters and wanted it changed back. The utility co wouldnt do it and their reason was because that property had a history (the last tenants) of not paying the bills and running up debts.

                    So though i agree a property doesnt get credit blacklisted it may get blacklisted by the utility co.
                    In that case surely the utility company was acting illegally in fitting the meter without the permisison of the property owner, and could be challenged in court over their action.
                    '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

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                      #11
                      I had a situation where i had a gas wall heater removed by an registered gas fitter and then the meter was locked in the off position by way of a mechanical lock fitted to the meter by the gas company (british Gas)as I went to storage heating so as not to have to get gas safety certificates each year I thought job done .then about two years later I was told by the tenant that the gas company had been round and taken the meter out (without my agreement)there was no charge for doing this but if I want to install cental heating etc in the future I will have to pay for the meter to be re fitted Can they do this .take it out without property owners permision and charge to put it back again Lavy

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