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Am I responsible for ex-husbands utility debts?

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I am new here so hope I am posting in the right place!

The thing is, my husband and I have separated. We were living in a local authority (council) flat with our 1 year old daughter. He was the tennant not me. He has moved out and I have just been allowed to take up tennancy in the property since he has left and signed it over to me.

What I would like to know is, I have since found out that he is in debt with the electric, the water and the council tax. The council tax bill is in joint names but is this allowed if I was not actually a tennant? Also, if I ring these other companies (water and electric) to get them transferred into my name, does the debt transfer too?

Water and electric are in my husbands name and council tax is joint. Any help would be great, thanks.

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If you were not living in the property you should not be liable for any debt left by the previous occupant, related or not. If you know where your ex-husband is living you could notify his creditors and they can persue him there.


However, if you were living there (even if not as a registered tenant) then I think I am right in saying you are liable, after all, you lived there, you used the gas, electricity and water so you have to pay for it. You could still pass on his new address and they could then persue him for half the debt.


Regarding the council tax, it doesn't matter whether or not you were a registered tenant, you were living there so unfortunately you have to pay the tax.

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Generally with joint bills they can try to get the money from either / both - genrally they will go for the easiest / most vulnerable


With bills in a single name (not yours), I don't believe that you are liable.

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The council tax bill is in joint names but is this allowed if I was not actually a tenant?


cant comment on the other bills but you will be held jointly responsible for the council tax

the council will send out bailiffs to your home

DON'T let them in no matter what they say they will threaten you with police entry to your property with a locksmith arrest jail none of it true bailiffs collecting council tax debt have no legal right of entry to your home KEEP THEM OUT do not open the door to them it wont be first time a bailiff has put his foot in door or pushed passed someone to gain entry if you have a car move it well away from the house


If you are on benefits ask the council to take direct payments (there is a template letter on here for this but i cant access them at the moment for some reson) do everything in writing when corresponding with the council/bailiffs by e-mail and recorded delivery letter if you do have problems with the bailiff post in bailiff forum on here and you will receive plenty help


as long as they don't gain a levy on your goods you will be OK and this will keep bailiff fees at £42.50 for 2 visits

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As I said earlier, if the utility company can prove you lived at the address during the time of the unpaid bills, I believe they can persue you for the debt, certainly half of it. And rightly so, you used the electric and the gas and it isn't free.

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Most utility companies will work in the same way as the council; on a basis of joint and several liability.


All persons named on the account are liable for payment and the supplier will pursue whoever they can contact.

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