Is there a chance to force tenant to pay utility bills?

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  • Is there a chance to force tenant to pay utility bills?

    Hi,

    I bought a property a few years ago where the tenant is on a flat upstairs and the trading business downstairs (where I am the owner) and both shared with the same gas, water and electricity meters. The previous owner solicitor told me that there was an oral agreement (in 1988) between the tenant and the previous owner that the tenant would pay £60 every quarter for electricity, gas and water.

    However, after all those years the rates have changed a lot and last year I politely asked the tenant to have separate meters installed and pay for himself but he refused. The thing is that he always left the lights in his flat on 24 hours.

    I do not know if there is any chance I can take him to court and get an order to have the meters installed separately. Considering that the previous owner agreed with me that he had been putting his own monies to pay for him, and I guess if he could install the meters separately then he would have done already. But you may have different opinion.

    Thanks

    Martin

  • #2
    Originally posted by martin_n View Post
    Hi,

    I bought a property a few years ago where the tenant is on a flat upstairs and the trading business downstairs (where I am the owner) and both shared with the same gas, water and electricity meters. The previous owner solicitor told me that there was an oral agreement (in 1988) between the tenant and the previous owner that the tenant would pay £60 every quarter for electricity, gas and water.

    However, after all those years the rates have changed a lot and last year I politely asked the tenant to have separate meters installed and pay for himself but he refused. The thing is that he always left the lights in his flat on 24 hours.

    I do not know if there is any chance I can take him to court and get an order to have the meters installed separately. Considering that the previous owner agreed with me that he had been putting his own monies to pay for him, and I guess if he could install the meters separately then he would have done already. But you may have different opinion.

    Thanks

    Martin
    Why not simply ask statutory undertakings to instal separate meters?
    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


    • #3
      Hi jeffrey,

      I don't get your point when saying that "statutory undertakings". Apologises in advance as I am not 100% familiar in these terms?

      Also I need to be sure that the tenant is responsible for paying with separated meters install otherwise the cost would be much higher compared to the current setup.

      Thanks.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by martin_n View Post
        Hi jeffrey,

        I don't get your point when saying that "statutory undertakings". Apologises in advance as I am not 100% familiar in these terms?

        Also I need to be sure that the tenant is responsible for paying with separated meters install otherwise the cost would be much higher compared to the current setup.

        Thanks.
        Ask Electric/Gas/Water Companies to instal metering separately for ground floor and first floor. They probably have stautory powers, which avoids the need for you to try and persuade T. Each Co. is a statutory undertaking for this purpose, and each should be asked to send split Bills so T is lumbered with paying his.
        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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