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Confused and Worried

Tenant: Utilities and Landlord Responsibilities to Register with National Grid

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Hello. First Post.

 

I am writing here as I need some advice. My family and I moved into a new build flat in Feb 2008. As tenants, our contract stipulated that we needed to pay for utilities. After not having received a bill after 3 months, I contacted National Grid who informed me that the property had not been registered with them and so they could not find out who supplied gas and electricity for the property. They also said it was the landlord's responsibility to register. I sent an email to one of the agents working for the landlord regarding this but never recieved a reply. This was July 2008.

 

Our contract expired in Feb, 2009 and even though we asked for a renewal, we were not given one and I signed nothing in this respect.

 

Fast forward and we have moved out of that property into a new home (mid July). The landlord had defaulted on his mortgage for those flats and so we decided best to move out as the administrators were not keen to have us stay there (would not renew the contract either).

 

The whole time we were there, we did not pay for gas and electricity and were never sent a bill (to the occupier etc). We did pay for Water and for Council Tax, however.

 

Having regained control of his properties from the administrator, he is now asking us to pay for the Gas and Electrics for the entire time in the property.

 

What are our rights?

 

1. I understand the landlord is required by law to carry out yearly inspection on appliances by a CORGI engineer. This was not done. We went 5 weeks without hot water in December-January 2009.

 

2. Are we liable to pay for the G & E now that we have left? I took no meter readings. If so, then legally, are we required to pay for the time when were weren't under contract (i.e. most of this year?)

 

3. The landlord still has our deposit. We accepted that as his properties were taken over by administrators, we would never see that money back.

 

Any advice greatly appreciated.

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You could just tell him to deduct the cost from your deposit & forward the balance on to you. Obviously you had written that off previously because of him being in administration, so at the end of the day you both win because he gets his money & you don't have to take him to small-claims court to recover your deposit.


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Hello and Welcome, C & W.

 

I'll move this thread to the appropriate Forum.

 

Regards.

 

Scott.


 
 

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Thanks for your reply.

 

What if, and certainly it will be, the cost of the utilities bill is higher than my deposit?

 

I understand the deposit has nothing to do (legally) with unpaid bills. But in this case, I was unable to pay the bills as the property was never registered. Isn't it a case of him trying to close the stable door once the horse has bolted? Do I have to pay him? Legally? Isn't it his responsibility to register the property and, until said registration takes place, I cannot be made liable??? I'm happy to leave my deposit (like I said, I underwrote it) but if he comes asking for more, what are my options?

 

Finally, having been at that property for 16 months but only 12 of those under contract, am I liable for the remaining 4 months?

 

Tenants in that property have come and gone and I'm sure he won't see a penny from them (even though he's already returned their deposit).

 

Thanks again for your time.

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The point of a deposit is to cover arrears, damages etc.

 

I honestly can't see how the landlord can enforce payment for these services really. In the eyes of the providers it was an unregistered meter, it hadn't been adopted by any of the utility companies so in effect payment should have been made to the energy providers i.e Transco & National grid but they don't bill end-use customers, they always go through a provider such as British Gas, NW Electric etc. There was no 'opening' meter readings so it cannot be guaranteed what the usage was anyway it would have to be guesstimated. For example, it was a new-build so during it's completion whilst the builders were still in finishing off, the central heating could have been on 24/7 drying out the plaster so the decorators could complete, de-humidifiers could have been running 24/7 for a few weeks all racking up the meter readings?

 

I think his best bet would be to cut his losses and accept your deposit as payment due. Besides, you don't have a contract with anyone.


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Make sure you do not post anything which identifies you. Although we can remove certain things from the site unless it's done in a timely manner everything you post will appear in Google cache & we do not have any control over that.

 

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Thanks alot. You have offered much relief!

 

I'll see how the conversation goes.

 

So, technically, he should still return my deposit and he still wouldn't be able to get me to pay for the utilities, nor would the utility companies themselves.

 

However, I'm a fair guy, try to be above board. I'll suggest he just keeps my deposit as payment to help him deal with the loss. It will certainly be more than the deposit. We're talking about the period in 2008 when energy prices shot through the roof.

 

Thanks again.

 

I'll post the result of this conversation as soon as I've had it (probably tomorrow).

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