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Am I liable for my ex-tenant's electricity bill?

Discussion in 'Property Management' started by chylld, 31st Mar, 2016.

  1. chylld

    chylld Well-Known Member

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    Normally the answer is no, however due to my tenant doing a dodgy, I'm left with a bill addressed to "The Occupier" for the time period where the tenant was still occupying the premises.

    The agent has tried to get in touch with the tenant without success. He recommends that I discard the bill.

    The electricity retailer said that the responsibility falls on me as the property owner to pay the bill.

    Where do I stand?
     
  2. Terry_w

    Terry_w Solicitor, Finance Broker, CTA Business Member

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    Yes, I think there is legilsation which means you maybe liable.

    Give the electricity company a call.

    Actually, you may only be liable if you were the occupier while it was connected in the tenant's name.
     
  3. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    How can you be liable for a bill that is not in your name? You haven't requested the service, the tenant would have paid a bond to get the connection. IMHO not your problem.

    (But @Terry_w knows better).
     
  4. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    These ones.
    I don't remember ever getting a bill addressed to "The Occupier".
    If I did I would probably ignore it.
     
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  5. chylld

    chylld Well-Known Member

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    For the billing period, we can prove that the tenant was the occupier. However the electricity was not connected in anyone's name.

    I just found the tenant's new details on their removalist invoice (which I requested as I decided to cover their moving fees.) I think that plus the last statement from the agent (stating their vacating date) should be enough to get the electricity company to chase the tenant?
     
  6. balwoges

    balwoges Well-Known Member

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    If you paid the tenants moving expenses I suspect you wanted them out quickly and they complied - I would pay and be thankful they did without any more problems.
     
  7. chylld

    chylld Well-Known Member

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    I wanted them out quickly, but they took the full 3 months (periodic lease) to move out. I already paid their removalist fees and they still caused me problems.

    I do not want to pay their electricity bill unless I am legally required to.
     
  8. York

    York Finance Broker Business Member

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    I recently received a gas bill for my ppor. The problem is I don't have a gas account. There is a meter for gas which was installed during the time the previous owner was there. It has been 7 years. I don't use gas as I have no gas apppliances.

    The bill is addressed to 'the occupier'.

    I rang the gas company and explained the situation. They told me thrown it in the bin and they'd make a note of it so i don't get any in the future. Case closed.
     
  9. chylld

    chylld Well-Known Member

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    Were you the occupier during the billing period?
     
  10. York

    York Finance Broker Business Member

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    Yes...I only just got the bill now for the last quarter. I've been there for 7 years.
     
  11. wylie

    wylie Moderator Staff Member

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    I had this a few years ago when some tenants left. They left on good terms and moved not far away so I would drop their mail into the letterbox at the new place on my way past. One letter was addressed to "The Occupier". I opened it not realising it was an electricity account. I have no idea why they didn't have the name of the tenants. Who opened the account and why did the power company not have a name?

    I called the power company and confirmed I didn't have any liability to pay, but they wanted to know the new address for the tenants. I got rather annoyed because privacy rules mean I cannot even speak with these people if the account is in the name of my husband, but they wanted me to give them the new address for my ex-tenants???

    I explained that for privacy reasons, I didn't think that was fair, and explained why - the privacy rules should be respected from both sides, surely?

    I said I would drop the account into the letterbox of the tenant.

    Did the tenant every pay the account? I have no idea.
     
    Last edited: 31st Mar, 2016
  12. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I have been through this a few times,just get a bigger bin a throw the letters in the bin,.
     
  13. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    We tell them - not our bills, disconnect it already, tenant has moved out. New tenant may choose different provider.
     
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  14. Skilled_Migrant

    Skilled_Migrant Well-Known Member

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    On the bright side the tenant could have left the partner at the property @datto . Imagine the bills then:

     
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  15. chylld

    chylld Well-Known Member

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    I also thought this before forwarding the removalist invoice to the electricity company, so instead I forwarded it to my property manager who will take care of it for me.

    I will let the electricity company know that I will pay for the vacant period and that period only.

    Moreover, the electricity at the IP is now under a new account under my own name until the new owners move in, so this other company's threats to "cut off the electricity supply" (which already happened once) are moot
     
  16. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    If they disconnect isn't there a fee to reconnect?
     
  17. Xenia

    Xenia Adelaide Property Manager Business Member

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    In SA right now, they always disconnect between tenants anyway. It's a pain in the bum because we used to just transfer over to new tenant. Not any more.
     
  18. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    That's a bit suckworthy.
    I used to know someone who would just keep paying the previous persons bills when they came, no need to change it over.
     
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  19. datto

    datto Well-Known Member

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    Ooooh.... my misses at the time wouldn't have been too happy.

    I could just hear her now "Heck, Datto. You're not suppose to pay the tenants' utility bills. You weren't sleeping with them!" lol.