Payment of Utility Bills at the end of the tenancy

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  • Payment of Utility Bills at the end of the tenancy

    Hi,
    what is the general advice regarding payment of utility bills up to the last date of tenancy? Do you take meter readings on the last day and advise these to the utility companies to send the final bill to the tenant forwarding address? or do you hold something back from the deposit to cover the bills and send the balance of the deposit to the tenant?

  • #2
    Originally posted by nick4692 View Post
    Do you take meter readings on the last day and advise these to the utility companies to send the final bill to the tenant forwarding address?
    If the contract for provision of utilities is between the T and (e.g.) British Gas, you don't need to do anything. It's nothing to do with you.

    or do you hold something back from the deposit to cover the bills and send the balance of the deposit to the tenant?
    No. See above.

    If T does not pay his bills before moving, that's his problem and the utility companies' problem. Not yours.

    Peter

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pcwilkins View Post
      If the contract for provision of utilities is between the T and (e.g.) British Gas, you don't need to do anything. It's nothing to do with you.
      Having said that it can be a PITA for the landlord to sort out if the tenant does abscond with unpaid utility bills, so I make it a condition of refunding the deposit that I have sight of receipts for the final bills. (You're not really supposed to though... I think if a tenant were to challenge it in court it would be deemed unfair; however the bills are always issued within a day or two of the end of the tenancy so it doesn't delay things and I don't see it as a problem).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Ericthelobster View Post
        Having said that it can be a PITA for the landlord to sort out if the tenant does abscond with unpaid utility bills
        In what way? I would have thought that LL should just do nothing --- when new T arrives, he will simple tell provider that he's just moved in and doesn't know anything about the old T.

        Just like when a person buys a house --- it's not their job to find out where the last owner went, surely?

        Peter

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        • #5
          I had a property once which I did not re-let once the tenant had left and it was left vacant for a number of months. There was an outstanding gas bill at the property which I didn't find out about until I went round one day and found a notice attached to the door from the utility company informing me they had gained entry and removed the meter. Obviously by this point the tenant was long gone and utility company wanted £600+ to reconnect the meter! As it turned out I ended up selling the property minus it's gas meter anyway.

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          • #6
            We always take readings as soon as we get access to our property. There's usually a void period, so I ring the utility providers and reinstate myself as the bill-payer with bills sent to my home address. If I get a forwarding address from the T, I pass it on to them.

            I haven't had any problems so far, with the utility companies trying to get the ex-t's bills from me.

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