Gas for whole house billed to only one of the tenants

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  • Gas for whole house billed to only one of the tenants

    Hi All,

    I was recently contacted by a debt agency for an amount of £465 owed to British Gas for a property I occupied between July 2006 - July 2007. I lived there with 4 other tenants. Without my approval, my name was given to British Gas for the Gas Bill. Although it said on our contract that we manage the utility bills ourselves, we use to pay the land lord regularly for all utility bills. Infact when I left, the landlord kept most of the deposit to clear of the bills that were owed to me. Having enquired from British Gas about the breakdown of the bill it is for May-2006 to Aug-2007 i.e. 2 months before my contract started till one month after I left. What should I do in this situation? I would appreciate any help on this. I'm really distressed about it.

    Many Thanks,

    Irfan

  • #2
    Originally posted by AKRAMM View Post
    Hi All,

    I was recently contacted by a debt agency for an amount of £465 owed to British Gas for a property I occupied between July 2006 - July 2007. I lived there with 4 other tenants. Without my approval, my name was given to British Gas for the Gas Bill. Although it said on our contract that we manage the utility bills ourselves, we use to pay the land lord regularly for all utility bills. Infact when I left, the landlord kept most of the deposit to clear of the bills that were owed to me. Having enquired from British Gas about the breakdown of the bill it is for May-2006 to Aug-2007 i.e. 2 months before my contract started till one month after I left. What should I do in this situation? I would appreciate any help on this. I'm really distressed about it.

    Many Thanks,

    Irfan
    Start by writing to BG itself (not Collection Agent) and explain full background in detail.
    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
      I would tend to start by writing to LL and asking where all the money that you paid him for bills went!

      I don't understand why you paid LL for bills if AST said that you would manage bills yourselves.

      Peter

      Comment


      • #4
        I wrote to them...

        I recently received a debt notification regarding unpaid bill payments to British Gas for a property I previously resided at (Address...). I lived at this address with four other tenants occupying different rooms in the property. Although the bill was put under my name (though without my prior knowledge and consent), payments for gas were made collectively to the landlord on the receipt of the bills every month who would then pay the bills on our behalf’s.

        Please note that I have not been living at this address since the 1st of July, 2007 and any outstanding payments were cleared before I left as agreed with the landlord. It is therefore now the responsibility of the landlord to pay any bill(s) which was not paid to the gas company for the period I lived in the property; and if the outstanding bills cover the period after 1st July 2007, the existing tenants may be requested to respond to at the property address.

        Please forward any further correspondence regarding this matter to the landlord. I attach my tenancy agreement for your perusal and record.

        ...................

        They then said that they will be in touch with me after investigating it further... but they contacted me soon after.. saying that since I was the named person on the bill I'll have to sort this myself... When I contacted the landlord about this he agreed that I paid him the bills regularly but is not prepared to give me a signed letter saying this, fearing that the debt agency might come running after him.. He said to me that he used to pay one of his tenants the bill to pay the bill off and that tenant is on holiday in Dubai. I dont know what to do next!! I dont want to be approached by the debt collector at my new address. Please advice..

        Thanks

        Comment


        • #5
          Surely when you received bills at the address you saw your name on the bill as they should have been addressed to you?

          But say if your Landlord removed the bill before you saw it, and you really did not know your name was put on the account, then technically you do not have a contract with British Gas and are not liable to pay. But they may take some persuading, especially as it has gone to debt collectors. Just because they are threatening you doesn't mean they are right in their assumptions.

          Go to your local Citizens Advice Bureau, or call Consumer Direct for advice.

          You are right to sort it out rather than letting things get worse by inaction.

          It may be that you have to pay the bill and then claim the money off the Landlord . So you may need to negotiate time with the debt collector if you do not have any money and need to wait until the LL pays you.
          All posts in good faith, but do not rely on them

          * * * * * ** * * * * * * * * * * * *

          You can search the forums here:

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          • #6
            Thing is that since the name was put there without my consent, the person who gave my name (whoever it may be) made an error in the first name, but my initials and surname were correct.

            Do you think it is a good idea that I should write to British Gas explaining that the name was put on there without my approval?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by AKRAMM View Post
              Do you think it is a good idea that I should write to British Gas explaining that the name was put on there without my approval?
              I would, if it were my property. Explain fully the difficulties caused to you by whoever.
              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


              • #8
                Sent this reply this morning to British Gas.. also copying in the Debt collectors. See what you think..

                I recently received a debt notification regarding unpaid bill payments of £466.85 to British Gas for a property I previously resided at (Address). I lived at this address with four other tenants occupying different rooms in the property. The bill was put under my incorrect first name without my prior knowledge and consent. Payments for all bills were made collectively to the landlord on the receipt of the bills every month who would then pay the bills on our behalf.

                I have been in touch with Energy Watch and they have been advised by you on the 31/01/2008 (ref: Nicola Kimbeely) that the bills are from 31/05/2006 to 20/08/2007. However I resided in the property from the 01/07/2006 to 01/07/2007 as depicted by my tenancy agreement. Having spoken to the landlord about this, the clearance for both electric and gas bills was arranged by the landlord when I left the property and is firm of the opinion that payments for both gas and electric bills was made through pay point meters. The landlord even kept £180 out of the £200 deposit money to clear off the bills. At the time he also took the meter reading.

                I have not been living at this address since the 1st of July, 2007. It is therefore now the responsibility of the landlord to pay any bill(s) (if any) which was not paid to the gas company for the period I lived in the property; and if the outstanding bills do actually cover the period after 1st July 2007, the existing tenants should be requested to respond to at the property address.

                I would like to work with you to come to a fair and equitable solution please advice if I can be of further assistance.


                .......................

                Please advice what i should do next... cheers for all the help !

                Comment

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