Utility Bill

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    Utility Bill

    My tenant moved out a few weeks ago and I have just learnt that they have an outstanding debt to the utility company (gas & elecricity). The utility company employee has informed me that a recent law change means that landlords are now ultimately responsible for unpaid bills as it is their property!! (Have I been sleeping and missed something?!)
    Can anyone shed any light on this, or have had similar problems?

    #2
    Originally posted by Kags View Post
    My tenant moved out a few weeks ago and I have just learnt that they have an outstanding debt to the utility company (gas & elecricity). The utility company employee has informed me that a recent law change means that landlords are now ultimately responsible for unpaid bills as it is their property!! (Have I been sleeping and missed something?!)
    Can anyone shed any light on this, or have had similar problems?
    They are lying to you.
    In future, if someone says something about a law change, ask them what the law is called.

    Call them back with the readings, and if you don't know a forwarding address, tell them that as well.
    If they have a log of the previous call, ask to speak to the person you spoke to previously, and if they insist they are correct, ask them to put it in writing.
    Allow tenants to protect their own deposits. I want free money when they do it wrong

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      #3
      Were the bills put in the tenant's name? If so, tenant is responsible, so ring with rings meter readings, follow up on writing and they will have to chase their customer, ie the tenant.

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        #4
        i was always under the assumption that the tenants are responsible. if there is such a sizemic change in the law like this i think you will hear about it in a LOT of places... i dont think such a change could be pushed through "unnoticed"

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          #5
          Pre payment meters are the way to go. My last property had one when I bought it and at first I wanted to change it. COuldn't as I don't live in the UK so left it as is. 2 sets of tenants so far and neither has complained. And face it how many tenants ask if the meter is pre payment.

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            #6
            The law has changed in respect of water bills.

            http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/blog/l...-water-charges

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              #7
              Originally posted by bbva View Post
              Pre payment meters are the way to go. My last property had one when I bought it and at first I wanted to change it. COuldn't as I don't live in the UK so left it as is. 2 sets of tenants so far and neither has complained. And face it how many tenants ask if the meter is pre payment.
              actually the last property i bought had the prepaid meter in. initially the tenants wanted to change it. i was happy to do that but the bills would have had to go in my name. they used it for 6 months and then when they could change it (in their name) the said they didnt want to. they preferred the prepay meter... so I guess it does suit some people

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                #8
                Originally posted by westminster View Post
                The law has changed in respect of water bills.

                http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/blog/l...-water-charges
                wow. i didnt realise this was the case. i usually let it to the tenants to inform the utility companies... guess i need to get a bit more proactive!!

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by bbva View Post
                  Pre payment meters are the way to go. My last property had one when I bought it and at first I wanted to change it. COuldn't as I don't live in the UK so left it as is. 2 sets of tenants so far and neither has complained. And face it how many tenants ask if the meter is pre payment.
                  Plenty of them do in my own experience; as they're aware that they'll end up paying more for their fuel if they have prepayment meters (never mind the inconvenience of topping them up etc.) It would certainly have been a deal-breaker for some of my applicants if they had been forced to use a prepayment meter, and who ended up taking up tenancies, and personally, it almost certainly would be for me, if I found myself being a tenant.

                  It's horses for courses - depends entirely what sort of tenant you're targeting. eg, professional medium-high earners: likely to prefer credit meters; very low earners and housing benefit tenants who are budgeting on a week-to-week basis are probably going to be happier with a prepayment meter.

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                    #10
                    It would be a deal breaker for me too and I always ask. Apart from the added cost and the limited choice of products, I would consider it insulting to have to top up a meter. It is normally associated with bad payers.
                    All views posted reflect my personal opinion only and do not constitute professional advice which I am not qualified or knowledgeable enough to provide.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post

                      It's horses for courses - depends entirely what sort of tenant you're targeting. eg, professional medium-high earners: likely to prefer credit meters; very low earners and housing benefit tenants who are budgeting on a week-to-week basis are probably going to be happier with a prepayment meter.
                      My tenants are all medium earning professionals (flat in central London) None have bothered to change so it must suit them. I wouldn't object if they wanted to. I didn't find it a big deal to top up as there are 5 places on the way to the tube to do it.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by bbva View Post
                        My tenants are all medium earning professionals (flat in central London) None have bothered to change so it must suit them. I wouldn't object if they wanted to. I didn't find it a big deal to top up as there are 5 places on the way to the tube to do it.
                        I used to work with a professional couple who would, each month, alternate bewteen paying off in full, one of their two credit cards (making minimum payment on the other)!

                        Some people are just born financially incompetent!

                        tim

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