Help - Being held responsible for tenant's utility bill

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    Help - Being held responsible for tenant's utility bill

    I'd appreciate your advice on this one. I had a tenant from January 2004 to September 2006 and she essentially stopped paying rent and I had to evict her. She hadn't paid her utility bills either.

    I subsequently found new tenants and I recently received a bill for £580 from Thames Water at my home address (the tenant's or agent must have given it to them). I called them up and they asked me to send in copies of my AST which I did. The AST states that the water bill is the tenant's responsibility.

    I have received a letter from Thames Water today in which they state "Since we did not have the opportunity to bill the tenants, we hold you as landlord responsible for all the charges between January 2004 and September 2006".

    Am I really responsible for this bill? I dont recall if they were notified of the new tenants in January 2004 but surely they have had over two years to ensure the bill was paid??

    Many thanks

    #2
    Sounds to me as though they are trying it on to try to get out of having cocked it up themselves big time! I mean, they are so inefficient that they never bothered to take action to recover their water charges for two years!
    I would suggest that you write back refusing to accept any liability in view of the terms of your tenancy agreement and suggest that, in the light of their gross inneficiency they look to their own debt recovery service to trace your ex-tenant who is clearly liable for the charges.

    P.P.
    Last edited by P.Pilcher; 06-01-2007, 12:19 PM. Reason: typos
    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.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Walmington View Post
      <snip>Am I really responsible for this bill? I dont recall if they were notified of the new tenants in January 2004 but surely they have had over two years to ensure the bill was paid??

      Many thanks
      Write to the Chief Executive of the Water Authority involved.

      Ask them to check their records stating that you notified them of the tenant's occupation of the property in January 2004 (telephone, email or letter?) and ask why this was not recorded.

      Deny responsibility for any alleged debt caused by their maladministration and failure to take prompt action to deal with outstanding accounts in an appropriate manner.
      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.

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