Tenant won't take on utility bills in her name, what to do?

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    Tenant won't take on utility bills in her name, what to do?

    T1 left 8 weeks ago. Paid final bill in her name.

    T2 doesn't want bills in her name. She's the only one left in the flat. T1 tells me the utility co's have put "to the occupier" on the bills, and will wait for T2 to call to put bills in her name.

    T2 has not done this. She has now given her 6 weeks notice.

    Its in her contract she must take bills in her name and management them. I have a clause that says tenants will owe me (the LL) for any unpaid bills, but don't want it to get to this.

    What should I do, step in and call the Gas and Electricity companies ask that her name be put on the bills? - is this legal and ok, or not.

    Best course of action? Advice please

    #2
    Assuming the tenancy is not an HMO.....then the utility bills are nothing to do with you.

    They are the responsibility of the occupier so, don't get involved.

    Comment


      #3
      About 9 weeks ago there were 3 tenants, not associated to each other at the flat

      Then 8 weeks ago T1 left

      One week ago T3 left.

      Leaving T2.

      I'm looking to fill the other two rooms. So at present with only 1 tenant (T2) at the property -- is it considered an HMO?

      You're saying don't get involved, but the utility co's may come after me the LL of the property? -- I just want to be sure I have the all the bases covered!

      Comment


        #4
        If the tenant is responsible for 100% of the bill, then phone the utility companies and give them the tenants details.
        Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

        Comment


          #5
          well, she's the only one left. So yes

          But want to check, it this ok for me to put her name down, all legal?

          I don't to get into a position where she leaves and no one picks up the bill

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by sparkie View Post
            well, she's the only one left. So yes

            But want to check, it this ok for me to put her name down, all legal?

            I don't to get into a position where she leaves and no one picks up the bill
            Phone the utility company and tell them that you are the landlord and you are giving the tenants details that is responsible for the bill.
            If it's not legal, then the will tell you.

            Have their name, phone number move in date and D.O.B ready.

            Alternatively, put in a PAYG meter.
            Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

            Comment


              #7
              Ok, thanks

              I'll call them and see what they say

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by sparkie View Post
                is it considered an HMO?
                It is definately a HMO under normal circumstances (not right now - 1 tenant). It is unlikely to need a license but you should check with the HMO Officer at the local council. Failing to license a licensable HMO can result in prosecution, and you can not issue a vaild section 21 notice.

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                  #9
                  My understanding is:

                  1 tenant only = Not HMO
                  2 tenants (unrelated) = Not HMO
                  3 tenants (unrelated) = HMO

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by subjecttocontract View Post
                    Assuming the tenancy is not an HMO.....then the utility bills are nothing to do with you.

                    They are the responsibility of the occupier so, don't get involved.
                    I just called NPower.

                    T1 paid the final bill under her name, so Npower sent new bills to the address under "The Occupier"

                    B/c the current tenant (T2) hasn't bothered to called NPower and put her name on the bills, (not suprised as she has told me herself that she doesn't want her name on them), NPower said that if no one pays the bills under 'The Occupier' -- they would resort to chasing the LL!

                    So, just as well as I called and told them the name of T2 to put on the accounts.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The utilties are good at that and switching back to the landlord, some even insist onsight of the tenancies to prove it. If the tenant is refusing then how good or bad were her references.

                      I think you are at risk if it is shared house and the occupiers are on seperate agreements , and if there is differing accomadation, that it could be an unfair contract term. At the very least if new occupiers are moving in you must ensure a reading is taken at inventory and you change the names so Miss A gets a closing bill and Miss A and Miss B are then set up on the new reading.

                      When you come to sell you dont want a PAYG meter and the cost of replacing it.
                      Based on the information posted, I offer my thoughts.Any action you then take is your liability. While commending individual effort, there is no substitute for a thorough review of documents and facts by paid for professional advisers.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by leaseholdanswers View Post
                        The utilties are good at that and switching back to the landlord, some even insist onsight of the tenancies to prove it. If the tenant is refusing then how good or bad were her references.
                        Thing is she pays here rent. She's just so resistant to having the bills in her name, just lazy? Dunno

                        When you come to sell you dont want a PAYG meter and the cost of replacing it.
                        You mean the cost of switching back? -- I thought it was an add on, and when you don't need it, just take it off. I have never used on before, so not familiar

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Utility companies like PAYG meters as they can ramp up the tariff to recover any arrears. Resist it if you can as you often pay a higher tariff anyway, even though you are paying in advance. They will usually put in a PAYG meter for free but there is a charge to remove it.

                          We are in a similar position at the moment as our last T left us with 2 months rent arrears, then we discovered he hadn't paid any utility bills at all since October. LA gave the utility companies my name for the bills from the day T left, and the power company has dumped £295 arrears on me. Currently fighting them to prevent Court order for forced entry to install a PAYG meter or cut us off! That reminds me, must give our LA their daily call to find out today's tale of woe!!!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            OP, your situation is messy. As you are renting on a room by room basis, it is only fair, that you charge rent on an all-inclusive basis.

                            I can understand why T2 would not want bills in her name, as she will also be responsible for bills for the other 2 new tenants coming in etc...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I have had multiple tenants, and she is the only one who doesn't want her name on bills. All the other tenants don't mind one bit as they know exactly whats being used and have full control and disclosure. Also they can use it for credit purposes etc. Also, I only take on professional tenants and they have been adult enough to manage and split bills accordingly as they come in.

                              I disagree with including utilities in the rent:

                              1. Tenants will have a tendency to use much more electricity and power, with little regard

                              2. They may think they are paying too much without seeing the bills

                              3. Having the bills in their name forces them to use energy responsibly

                              4. If they don't pay they have me and the Utility company after them. If it was under my name and they run-off it's just me after them, not as good from a LL's perspective

                              Comment

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