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Advice about debts from a previous tenant please

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I've had a debt collector at the door as the previous tenant here (now deceased) owes for gas and electric. We've had numerous letters from British Gas over the last few weeks about it, all of which I've passed to the HA to deal with. I've rung HA this morning but they've fed me the usual 'we'll deal with it' line.

 

I've spoken to BG directly a few times as we are also with them (and in credit) but the message that we're new occupants doesn't seem to be getting through. We sent BG a copy of our tenancy agreement and they switched our account from our previous address so they know we're new tenants.

 

The bloke this morning was quite nasty and has threatened bailiffs. I know they can't legally do anything to us but where do I go to get this sorted as it's getting annoying.

 

Thanks

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Make a complaint to Trading Standards via Consumer Direct http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/contact


Anthrax alert at debt collectors caused by box of doughnuts

 

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Your risk here is disconnection / installation of a pre pay meter.

 

Write to BG again telling them the situation and provide a copy of the tenancy agreement (again) and send it recorded delivery.

 

From there you are covered and if BG do not sort it out it is their problem. If you get a court summons (or informed that BG are asking for a warrant) attend and tell the Magistrate that you are not liable, and you have told them this and take a copy of the letter you sent.

Edited by Ubiquitious
added info

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I think you just need to be a little more patient, as it will probably take a few weeks for the facts to register with them. What you could do is type up a note to send to companies chasing the former tenant and keep a copy by the door to hand to any doorstep visitors.

 

Eventually the solicitor or person dealing with the deceaseds estate will be in contact with the various companies and then the contacts should stop. Also I would think the deceaseds credit record will at some point show them as deceased, so any company using the credit record to do a tracing will note this.


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Thanks for your replies. Can they really disconnect gas/electric for a debt that's not mine? This has been ongoing since the end of June so they've had more than a few weeks to sort it out. I'll contact Trading Standards, thank you.

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Thanks for your replies. Can they really disconnect gas/electric for a debt that's not mine? This has been ongoing since the end of June so they've had more than a few weeks to sort it out. I'll contact Trading Standards, thank you.

 

They should not disconnect but mistakes get made. If the former tenant is deceased, they might not have confirmation of this and the change of tenancy. I know you have got the supply arranged in your name now, but we know that sometimes these large companies can make mistakes, due to people not checking all records carefully.


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I've just spoken to the housing officer (again!) and she's promised to get on to the next of kin to try and get it sorted out, she's also going to contact BG and reiterate that we're new tenants in the hope they'll stop hassling us.

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You could also remind BG of this harassment case heard by England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions

 

Ferguson v British Gas Trading Ltd [2009] EWCA Civ 46 (10 February 2009) see; http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2009/46.html

 

Even though it may not be BG chasing any debt they are still responsible for any DCA that does. ;)


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