Identity fraud

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    Identity fraud

    Hello

    I received a letter from my local Council just before Christmas thanking me for my application for exemption on a property I rent out and saying that they wished to make an appointment to inspect the said property. The letter also indicated that the current exemption runs out on 24 December. Alarm bells ringing, I phoned the Council who told me that someone giving my name had telephoned on 3 December claiming that the property was empty and unfurnished. First I'd heard of it - present tenants have been living there for six months, have not registered for council tax and the Council did not have a record of their names. Although the Council are now (so they tell me) in the process of updating their records, I have now received a bill from them.

    I have also ascertained that my tenants did not register to pay water rates and the account was still in the previous tenant's name. I have now rectified this.

    My tenants are strenuously denying any form of fraud and all trust has naturally gone out the window. I am trying to ascertain from the Council what happened when they first moved in, i.e. was there some almighty cock up or did someone claiming to be me say the property was empty?

    What would other people do in this situation - marching orders? Thank you.

    #2
    I always register my tenants with Council Tax and utilities myself. Just done some today actually. Not doing so, gives T's the opportunity to 'pull a fast one', as yours seem to have done.
    To save them chiming in, JPKeates, Theartfullodger, Boletus, Mindthegap, Macromia, Holy Cow & Ted.E.Bear think the opposite of me on almost every subject.

    Comment


      #3
      Send a copy of the tenancy agreement signed by your tenants to the council to show where liability belongs.
      The advice I give should not be construed as a definitive answer, and is without prejudice or liability. You are advised to consult a specialist solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by JK0 View Post
        I always register my tenants with Council Tax and utilities myself. Just done some today actually. Not doing so, gives T's the opportunity to 'pull a fast one', as yours seem to have done.
        Same here, I always do - but have had some that have told council they have moved and house is empty, but you normally only find out when they have gone.

        Comment


          #5
          I always register my tenants too. I tell them its one less thing for them to do. However, I did have one T who phoned the elec supplier to say nobody was living at the house and put the bill back in my name! At the end of the tenancy I phoned the supplier to transfer back to my name and was surprised to find it already in my name. They said I owed 100s of £.

          I had taken the reading before the T moved in and told the supplier I would only pay that much and the T owed the rest. They grumped a bit about this but eventually accepted what I said.

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for your comments and suggestions. I have already sent the Council a copy of the tenancy agreement so hopefully the liability will be sorted out sooner rather than later. I have in the past informed the Council and utility companies of new tenants moving in but more recently have treated my tenants as adults and so far this has seemed to work.

            My problem with the present lot is deciding whether or not to serve them notice (to date they are not behind with the rent). I have now taken a distinct dislike to them, do not trust them and am wondering what else they might get up.

            Comment


              #7
              You can serve them with a s.13 notice of rent increase at the earliest occasion, setting new rent as high as possible based on latest ads in the area. That'd still be something.

              Comment


                #8
                http://www.property118.com/index.php...tenants/23736/

                Buy to let landlords could be made to pay water bills for departing tenants if they fail to pass on their details under a proposed new law.

                Water companies write-off around £328 million a year in unpaid bills – costing every consumer £15 a year, says the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).

                Although landlords have a legal obligation to tell gas and electricity companies the identity of any occupiers, no such requirement exists for water companies.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Berlingogirl,

                  I had exactly the same happen to me! Got it all sorted but what a hassle..... Some people have the nerves of a devil and no morals at all.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    boletus,

                    The proposed new law doesn't sound good to me. What happens if you don't know the tenants new address? Surely they should use a tracing service and track them like any other company or utility organisation that has not been paid for the supply?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      If I understand correctly, what is proposed is to make landlords tell water companies details of their new tenants, not a forwarding address for departing ones.
                      But if they fail to do that and tenants leave without having paid their water bills, then landlord will be made liable for it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I must have mis-read the post - that's a relief!

                        Comment

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