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Jonquil

npower and a bill not liable for, but..

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NB In all of this I am the sub tenant/lodger, and am not the named person responsible for the bill. That falls to my flatmate who was the main tenant at our previous address, and is now the owner-occupier. But because they are threatening to send around debt collectors, and they may arrive when I'm home on my own, this potentially effects me.

 

Whilst my flatmates were away in February this year a heavy demand letter from npower arrived for £70 or so for an outstanding bill from our previous address - I lived with the same people at the previous address. I phoned npower, and arranged to send the cheque which I did that day. Because I understood that if a bill arrives when I'm here alone, I need to pay it, and this wasn't a bill that could wait.

 

When my flatmates returned home, she saw that it was actually a bill for after we had left the property, and therefore wasn't liable. She phoned npower and had to get a letter/copy of tenancy agreement sent from the previous letting agents to prove we weren't at the address for the period the bill covered. npower then proceeded to send a refund for the cheque paid.

 

However in the past week or so there's been another letter threatening debt collection.

So my flatmate phoned them, explained the situation. From what I can gather they were a bit snarky, but said they'd look into their records and sort it.

But I believe there's been another demand letter since then.

 

Yesterday she told me about the debt collection threats.

 

An additional factor in this is that I suffer from severe long term anxiety and feel threatened myself in this, even though I'm not responsible. And I don't handle officials well due to this anxiety, and I'm terrified. My flatmates are away for a week soon, and what if the debt collectors try to break in?

 

What are my rights in this?

My flatmate isn't pursuing any legal advice, and this feels really wrong to me.

If it were me, I'd just pay it off [as I indeed did earlier this year, but it was then refunded...] and be done with it. It's not like it's a huge amount of money. It'd put me out for a while, but if it got them off our back, then great.

But that's not the way my flatmate sees it.

 

I don't know what to do, I'm really scared.

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Hi Jonquil

 

The vast majority of these threats are just empty threats to intimidate. The vast majority have no intention of turning up.

 

NPower will be responsible for the behavior of their debt collector, they won't want the hassle, so you can be fairly comfortable that this is just one of those empty threats.

 

If anyone did turn up:

  • they aren't allowed to break in (even bailiffs aren't)
  • they don't have any special powers
  • you can talk to them through a locked door
  • if they don't leave immediately when asked, you can call the police

 

You can honestly say that you don't owe these people anything. They frightened you, you paid up, they had to make a refund.

 

I've seen first hand what overpowering anxiety can do to you and can understand how you must feel. Try to understand that nothing is going to happen here, but like most things in life, it is the anticipation that is worst (and the panic caused by anticipation)

 

In reality, nothing really bad can happen here

 

You only have one life, it's worth trying to get some help so that you can live yours without being frightened of every shadow.

 

Your doctor might be able to help, with either therapy or tablets. It's worth considering that. I don't know how old you are, but there is extra help available for the under 25s.

 

I've seen the transformation that can be achieved.

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