Tenant won't pay final bills to Tenant that's left, who's liable?

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    Tenant won't pay final bills to Tenant that's left, who's liable?

    T1 had bills in her name, settled with gas and electricity companies when she left. T2 paid her third share. But T3 has not paid up, possibly refusing to or delaying payment. All are on individual/separate AST's.

    I have paid T1 back owing deposit, after she signed final deposit settlement agreement with relevant deductions. So as far as I knew that was the end of the tenancy (all keys returned etc.)

    Now she's emailing me saying I have to impose on T3 to pay her for the unpaid portion of utility bills.

    Who's legally responsible/liable here? -- I would have thought T3, and not me as LL? -- To me these bills are between the individual T's to settle amongst themselves

    T3 has paid previous bills to T1 before, so precedent had been set.

    Anyways would like to know your thoughts. Thanks

    #2
    Originally posted by sparkie View Post
    T1 had bills in her name, settled then left.when But T3 has not paid up. All are on individual/separate AST's.

    T3 has paid previous bills to T1 before, so precedent had been set.
    It's a matter between tanants, as utilities were in a tenants name, and she got one third from the others. Not your concern.

    But if T1 has left, then you better make sure one of the tenants names are replaced on the utilities bills, suggest T3 ?

    R.a.M.

    Comment


      #3
      I suspect in court you may have difficulty proving that T1 should bear any responsibility for electricity used by T2 or T3. Usually, responsibility is limited to the areas over which they have exclusive access.

      Suggest in future, you either let as a single unit (still HMO, just a single AST to a pre-formed group) or you install individual meters and increase the rent to include electricity for the communal areas.

      Comment


        #4
        Hi

        Could you please explain how the tenancy was set up

        Were they on the same or individual ASTs ?

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Springfields View Post
          Hi

          Could you please explain how the tenancy was set up

          Were they on the same or individual ASTs ?
          Individual ASTs

          Comment


            #6
            Tenants all sign for the responsibilty of the utilities when they move into the property and it is assumed that they will share their equal responsibility.

            Obviously you have no liability as they jointly have accepted this via the tenancy.

            If TT1 has provided proof that she has paid for her share and TT2s share then in the interest of peace keeping I would contact the TT3 and inform that you have seen evidence that the other 2 have made payment and that up until that date hers remain unpaid, then ask if the utility company are to be given her forwarding address so she can resolve personally or if you have a deposit if she would like you to deduct the amount prior to its return.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Springfields View Post
              Tenants all sign for the responsibilty of the utilities when they move into the property and it is assumed that they will share their equal responsibility.

              Obviously you have no liability as they jointly have accepted this via the tenancy.
              That's true only between L on the one hand and T+occupants on the other.
              It does not bind external parties- Local Authority, Water Company, suppliers of gas/electricity/telecoms.
              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.
              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by jeffrey View Post
                That's true only between L on the one hand and T+occupants on the other.
                It does not bind external parties- Local Authority, Water Company, suppliers of gas/electricity/telecoms.

                some how T1 still thinks I'm responsible in some way for making or forcing T3 to pay her.

                Should I just email her to say the matter is between her and T3 to resolve?

                Thanks again for all the advice people. Much appreciated

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by sparkie View Post
                  .

                  Should I just email her to say the matter is between her and T3 to resolve?
                  In the interests of good relations, yes, email her, but point out that the utilties were in her name and her responsibility legaly, and she paid the bills and was responsible to obtain one third from the others.

                  She is still responsible to obtain the other tenants share of the bills, as the utilities are not in your name.

                  However, help her by telling her you will write to the tenants, saying to all tenants now in the flat ( by letter ) that the utilies are divided equaly, and state that there are unpaid amounts to the previous bill payer, and that you expect them to pay any moneys owing.

                  Also ask whos name in now on the utilities bill.

                  that's all you can do, just advise, and show that you have reminded your tenants of their obligations, and that's the best thing you can do.
                  It may shake the others into paying.

                  R.a.M.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks RaM. I'll try this

                    She said in her last email she was going to see Citizens Advice Bureau.. well she's directing her energy at the wrong person (me), when she should be taking T3 to small claims

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Although T1 is, no doubt, liable to the utility company, I wonder if she has any claim against the landlord who imposed this responsibility on her? If I was in her shoes, that's the angle I'd be investigating.

                      Presumably there is no formal contract between T1 & T3 that T1 can enforce? If T1 takes T3 to court, T3 is just going to deny responsibility.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        However T3 has paid T1 in the past on utility bills, hence setting a precedent. Its just the final bills T3 is refusing to pay.

                        It does say in their contracts to take on the bills in their name and split equally

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by sparkie View Post
                          However T3 has paid T1 in the past on utility bills, hence setting a precedent. Its just the final bills T3 is refusing to pay.

                          I does say in their contracts to take on the bills in their name and split equally
                          So long as you are happy - I'm just playing devils advocate, because if I was T1 I'd be after blood.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                            So long as you are happy - I'm just playing devils advocate, because if I was T1 I'd be after blood.
                            Sure, I understand. T1 should be after T3's blood.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Snorkerz View Post
                              Although T1 is, no doubt, liable to the utility company, I wonder if she has any claim against the landlord who imposed this responsibility on her?
                              No. L and T can agree whatever they wish.
                              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.
                              3. For paid advice about conveyancing/leaseholds/L&T, contact me* and become a private client.
                              4. *- Contact info: click on my name (blue-highlight link).

                              Comment

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