Cutting Off Gas, Elec & Water

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  • Cutting Off Gas, Elec & Water

    I have a tenant who has no intention of paying any more rent. I have issued the S21 and will waiting for it to expire before applying for accelerated possession.

    In the mean time, her gas, elec & water comes off our supply and we invoice her for it quarterly. As she is not paying for these either, are we allowed to disconnect the supplies? I am guessing not but I know someone here will know for certain.

    There's something REALLY ANNOYING about a tenant living rent free AND not paying for utilities! :-(

    Thanks in advance for any advice.

  • #2
    No no and no. It would be classed as harrassment.
    Any posts by myself are my opinion ONLY. They should never be taken as correct or factual without confirmation from a legal professional. All information is given without prejudice or liability.

    Comment


    • #3
      Personally, and I have been in this situation - install an electric prepayment meter in her supply line and set the charge sufficiently high to collect any gas and water charges as well.

      I doubt you would be prosecuted for this by either police or council because no law on earth can force you to pay for someone else's utilities though setting the meter as I say would be a positively grey area being that is illegal to charge more for electricity than you yourself pay - however, you could counter this by saying that although she puts 10p per unit into the meter - you only charge her 6p for the electricity consumed and the rest goes to the gas and water charges.

      Only other way is for her to apply for her own supply to the utilities - she aint going to do that while she is enjoying freebies off you is she?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by jghomer
        I have a tenant who has no intention of paying any more rent. I have issued the S21 and will waiting for it to expire before applying for accelerated possession.

        In the mean time, her gas, elec & water comes off our supply and we invoice her for it quarterly. As she is not paying for these either, are we allowed to disconnect the supplies? I am guessing not but I know someone here will know for certain.

        There's something REALLY ANNOYING about a tenant living rent free AND not paying for utilities! :-(

        Thanks in advance for any advice.
        I agree with Mr Shed you could be wide open to her counterclaiming harrassment against you and the S21 notice would be "thrown out" by the judge.
        Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.

        Comment


        • #5
          Cutting off the water/gas/electricity would NOT result in the S21 notice being thrown out by the judge - the only way a judge could throw such a notice out is if it did not conform to the legally required wording or if the incorrect possession date was shown or there was some other irregularity which invalidated the notice.

          The tenant could not counterclaim in the possession proceedings under S21 because there is no scope for a counterclaim to possession - its either a possession order or the application is thrown out because of irregularity.

          Unlike an ordinary summons issued for rent or damages where the tenant could issue a counterclaim for unlawful acts of the landlord.

          Stick to what you know best PMS - clearly your landlording knowledge is not as good as your other five "strings"!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by davidjohnbutton
            Personally, and I have been in this situation - install an electric prepayment meter in her supply line and set the charge sufficiently high to collect any gas and water charges as well.
            Good idea - but why not have a gas prepayment meter fitted at the same time? Or does fitting these both cost if they are 'subcontracted' meters rather than the 'main' ones?

            Comment


            • #7
              It is quite easy for an electrician to install a separate electricity meter, but not so easy for a prepayment gas meter UNLESS the person being supplied has debt problems so as not to qualify for a credit meter quite apart from the logistics of putting in a "sub" gas meter which belongs to the landlord - besides cash gas meters are no longer around - they are all Quantum meters now with a card "charged" with cash paid over the counter at the post office and then transferred as a credit to the Quantum meter.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by davidjohnbutton
                Cutting off the water/gas/electricity would NOT result in the S21 notice being thrown out by the judge - the only way a judge could throw such a notice out is if it did not conform to the legally required wording or if the incorrect possession date was shown or there was some other irregularity which invalidated the notice.

                The tenant could not counterclaim in the possession proceedings under S21 because there is no scope for a counterclaim to possession - its either a possession order or the application is thrown out because of irregularity.

                Unlike an ordinary summons issued for rent or damages where the tenant could issue a counterclaim for unlawful acts of the landlord.

                Stick to what you know best PMS - clearly your landlording knowledge is not as good as your other five "strings"!
                There's holes in S21. Watch this space!! Nothing is watertight!!
                Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by pms
                  There's holes in S21. Watch this space!! Nothing is watertight!!
                  I await the leak with much trepidation
                  Vic - wicked landlord
                  Any advice or suggestions given in my posts are intended for guidance only and not a substitute for completing full searches on this forum, having regard to the advice of others, or seeking appropriate professional opinion.
                  Without Plain English Codes of Practice and easy to complete Prescribed Forms the current law is too complex and is thus neither fair to good tenants nor good landlords.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My Rolex is - at least down to 300m !!!!!!

                    PMS I do hate to criticise another forum member, but you really ought to refrain from making sweeping statements like you do. There are no holes in a Section 21 that is properly served with the correct dates on it and the correct wording as laid down by parliament. On seeing one of those "in the flesh" as it were accompanied by the correct forms filled in and the fee paid - a County Court Judge MUST make a possession order - he/she may make it without a hearing or at a hearing - but the ultimate result is a possession order if all the paperwork is correct and the S21 notice correctly served.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      And, I assume when the judge cocks it up as we have read here that they do from time to time, justified by their own trumped up importance, without a Q.C. to attempt to bring them to heel. We can appeal - we will almost certainly win but at what cost ............... legal representation, further loss of rent e.t.c. e.t.c. DJB, I know that you are absoloutely correct, but I have a little sympathy for what other posters have said.

                      On reading between the lines of the many posts on such matters on this board I have gained the impression that if a solicitor/barrister is appearing before a county court judge, he can get away with all sorts of things on his client's behalf as a legal professional that you or I couldn't have a hope in hell of getting away with and wouldn't try to!

                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by davidjohnbutton
                        My Rolex is - at least down to 300m !!!!!!

                        PMS I do hate to criticise another forum member, but you really ought to refrain from making sweeping statements like you do. There are no holes in a Section 21 that is properly served with the correct dates on it and the correct wording as laid down by parliament. On seeing one of those "in the flesh" as it were accompanied by the correct forms filled in and the fee paid - a County Court Judge MUST make a possession order - he/she may make it without a hearing or at a hearing - but the ultimate result is a possession order if all the paperwork is correct and the S21 notice correctly served.
                        DJB:I gather your trying to incite Macdonald vs Ferdinad (2003) at the appeal court whch if your up with case law I need say no more.So don't critize.Judgements have a habit of going wrong (so your rolex has just lost another 150 mill) and in replying to your last reply i.e "strings" I must point out to you I manage on behalf of a landlord i.e agent.
                        Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by P.Pilcher
                          And, I assume when the judge cocks it up as we have read here that they do from time to time, justified by their own trumped up importance, without a Q.C. to attempt to bring them to heel. We can appeal - we will almost certainly win but at what cost ............... legal representation, further loss of rent e.t.c. e.t.c. DJB, I know that you are absoloutely correct, but I have a little sympathy for what other posters have said.

                          On reading between the lines of the many posts on such matters on this board I have gained the impression that if a solicitor/barrister is appearing before a county court judge, he can get away with all sorts of things on his client's behalf as a legal professional that you or I couldn't have a hope in hell of getting away with and wouldn't try to!

                          P.P.
                          I totally agree with what you say and I think to be fair that can happen either way. Landlord or tenant
                          Disclaimer:I have over 30 years experience in housing(both social and private) as an EHO and Building Surveyor.I am also a certified expert witness having spent the last 15years working in housing litigation.The advice I give is from experience in working for various Local Authorities and how the law is interpretated.Housing Law is a minefield and is continually being amended if in any doubt you should consult a solicitor or someone of equal legal standing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Away with these silly arguments. DJB is more than right!

                            One of the exam type questions in the TA goes something like "What is the only Notice to be served upon a tenant that will (eventually) guarantee the landlord possession" And the answer is a S.21 (Don't tell me that a S.8 Notice will do the same because it won't!)
                            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.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Yes Paul, but are ALL county court judges aware of this? From what I have read on this board some have accepted all sorts of conditions into the granting of a possession order under the S.21 process.
                              On the other hand, a C.C. judge has personally advised me in a hearing, that he was prepared to accept that my letter giving a tenant 2 months notice to quit as satisfying the section 21 notice requirement - but he could not be certain that his colleagues would do the same. That was before I discovered and started to avidly read this board!

                              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.

                              Comment

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