Tenant left electricity arrears

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    Tenant left electricity arrears

    Our latest T was a right pain, and eventually left us on 9 June with 2 months rent arrears. Since we have had notification that he has not paid any utility bills since he took up residence in October. We have no forwarding address for him, so have left our Letting Agent to deal with the utility companies and forwarding the relevant claims onto him.

    Looked into the flat to check on post yesterday, only to find a final notice of disconnection from the power company. Luckily the LA office was open so we checked with them and they said they have already sent written notification to the power company that T is responsible for the outstanding bill, given his forwarding address and that they would chase the power company again. We are now getting concerned as the letter states an attempted entry by the power company was made on 19.7.10, and they are now applying for court order to force entry and install a pre-payment meter. The meter cabinet is in a communal area of ther block and therefore they could effectively install a new meter without anyone being present to grant access. I am planning to contact the power company myself on Monday to try to forestall this action, but it is feasible it could go ahead without us being able to stop it.

    Where do we stand if a meter is installed that we do not want? Who pays the reconnection fee if the power is cut off? This is also preventing us re-letting at the moment, as we don't want to inflict this situation on a new tenant.

    Any advice appreciated! Thanks

    #2
    Was the tenants name on the bill from the outset of the tenancy?
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

    Comment


      #3
      If the electricity bills were in the tenant's name then the electricity supplier should be chasing them for payment. They are clearly assuming that the tenant is still in residence and taking the usual steps to recover their money. I suggest you contact the supplier yourself and explain the situation. Don't leave it to your agent.
      Regrettably, if the supplier has assumed that you are the customer and you have been assuming that the tenant has been paying the bill in your name, then you've got more of a problem.

      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


        #4
        Thanks for replies.

        The electricity bill only appeared in my name after the T left. LA took meter readings and forwarded to the power company as a final reading for the T. Quarterly bill was due that week, so for some reason they have dumped the whole lot on me, instead of referring the T's portion to him and the small amount I have used in cleaning up the property to me.

        I'm not sure if the T's name was on the previous bill as obviously LA dealt with setting up the tenancy and I had not contact with utility bills etc until T left.

        I am planning to follow up with the power company tomorrow. LA assures me they have sent confirmation of the T's contact details to them in writing, and I tend to think its a case of departments not talking to each other, but other than barracading the door to prevent the power company entering, I cannot be there 24/7 so hope I can convince them on the phone not to proceed with their action!

        Thanks again.

        Comment


          #5
          Update: Spoke to the power company this morning. She took all the details and put me on hold whilst she tried to ring the LA. Don't know why but guess its is to vouch for me not being liable for the T's arrears. They were engaged on the phone but she assured me she would log the details to call them again later today. I expressed my concerns about the Court Warrant for access/cut off of supply being applied for and she assured me that so long as the LA verified the T's forwarding address this would all be put on hold and they would chase him for the outstanding money. As the flat is currently empty, and 10 miles away from me, I cannot keep an eye on it day-to-day, so should I just take her word for it that the court action will be held, or am I likely call in next time I'm passing to find I've been cut off!

          LA assures me that the power company have had verbal and written confirmation of the T's contact info and liability for the bill before, and said this power company are notorious for "losing" information or denying ever receiving it. Should I be worried about the court action going ahead? What would you do?

          Comment


            #6
            Keep chasing them until they have confirmed that they have the tenant's contact details. Take a careful note of the times you contacted the power company, the name of the individual that you spoke to and what was said.

            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


              #7
              Originally posted by LesleyAnne View Post
              she assured me that so long as the LA verified the T's forwarding address this would all be put on hold and they would chase him for the outstanding money.
              Uh oh!

              So was the tenants name on the bill from the outset?
              Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

              Comment

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