Is this clause OK?

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  • Is this clause OK?

    I have a guarantor who is querying the clause in our tenancy agreemeent which allows us to obtain or give details of the tenants from/to utility companies. The G has asked us to insert 'subject to the Data Protection Act 1998'. Would this significantly affect what we could do in terms of obtaining/revealing adddresses, etc?

    This is the clause in question:

    9. The tenants shall be jointly responsible for the prompt payment of charges for water and sewerage, electricity, gas, and telephone line rental (for the purposes of broadband internet connection). The Tenants irrevocably authorise the Local Authority, Benefit Office, Post Office and the relevant utility companies (including water, electricity, gas, and telephone) to discuss and disclose to the Landlord or Agent all financial and other information relating to the Property or any housing benefit claim. This authority shall extend to disclosure of the Tenant's whereabouts if the Tenants have left the Property with rent or other monies owing.


    Should we just remove the clause?

    Any advice welcome.
    '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

  • #2
    It's none of G's business, is it? G is guaranteeing T's obligations, true, but G's question instead turns on an authority from 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.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
      It's none of G's business, is it? G is guaranteeing T's obligations, true, but G's question instead turns on an authority from T.
      I agree, but if it keeps G happy and doesn't affect what I could do, I would add her rider about the DPA. What I need to know is whether to do so would invalidate the clause anyway...in which case it would be sensible to ditch it...or should I ditch it anyway on the grounds that if T leaves owing money for the gas bill, it's not my problem anyway and it's the utility companies' problem to chase them?

      Or should I just tell G that I won't change it?

      Sorry if this is a bit garbled. Last day of term and all that!
      '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


      • #4
        A friend of mine works for one of the utility companies and informs me that they would not disclose to a third party any information concerning the consumer of a utility supply even if such a clause was in the tenancy agreement that they have irrevocably authorised it; apparently it still contravenes the Data Protection Act.

        Ask your local Trading Standards Office because they might have a view too concerning potential unfair terms.
        The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

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