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Hi,

 

I've recently obtained a full credit report and discovered that Bournemouth & West Hants Water managed to get a CCJ against me for my tenants bill without my knowledge by serving a summons to an address that I no longer live at.

 

I have disputed the debt with them and they say that if I had informed them that the tenant had moved in within x days, then they would not hold me liable however they appear to have lost the letter. Is this indemnity a legal right? or is this just something in the water company's Ts&Cs?

 

As the water company had 2 letters (I have copies, but the letting agency didn't use recorded delivery) with my current address stating when the tenant started the tenancy and when it ended, and they have acknowledged the 2nd letter, can I accuse them on the N244 of vexatious litigation because they deliberately sent the letter to an old address? or should I merely state that they are grossly negligent? (The reason I ask, is that the clerk of the court said that the judge will consider an application for costs of setting aside to be claimed from the plaintiff).

 

Can I also ask the judge for compensation for the false record on the credit report? or does this have to be a seperate case?

 

Also I have been told there is also an outstanding bailiff warrant, do I need to ask for this to be stayed on the N244?

 

BTW, the tenant did a moonlight flit owing me over £1200, and so I have no forwarding address, and Gas, Electric & Phone utilities have written off their debts. Do I need include details of the tenants and their lack of forwarding address on the N244 too?

 

Any help and advice filing the N244 is very much appreciated,

Banjo

Edited by banjo67xxx
bad grammar
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Problem with vex is you have to show malice or recklessness rather than incompetence. Basically they were owed money but not by you so the degree of recklessness will have to be taken into account.

I would add the info as it saves having to duplicate the effort later so speed things up for you.

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Problem with vex is you have to show malice

Thanks for the clarification, and advice.

 

they were owed money but not by you

BTW, I have found some non-UK sites which suggest that it is a general principle that landlords are not the "users" of a utility and so cannot be held liable (except in Torronto where they have specifically rewritten the law).

 

Do you know if landlords can be held liable in UK law?

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your tenant would have had to enter into a contract with the water co., so it would be that person who they should be chasing.

If you were the previous occupier, then YOU should of told them direct you have a tenant who is now responsible for the usage.

The problem is entirely down to you. I cant see that the water co has done anything wrong.

You will have to apply as you are to get it set aside with as evidence that you can supply.

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According to OP 1st post LL/LA told water co twice in writing and then went on to say LA didn't use Rec Dev.

 

banjo67xxx

 

It may be a idea to post your 1st question on LL forum http://www.landlordzone.co.uk/forums/forumdisplay.php?3-Residential-Letting-Questions

 

Some LL's may be able to advise you from their own similar experiences !

 

Good luck....

Edited by 45002

Please use the quote system, So everyone will know what your referring too, thank you ...

 

 

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If you were the previous occupier, then YOU should of told them direct you have a tenant who is now responsible for the usage.

The letting agency did tell the water company direct, and I have proof of that.

 

your tenant would have had to enter into a contract with the water co

I don't believe a new occupier needs to sign a contract in order to be obligated to pay for the utilities they use. When a previous tenant leaves or when you sell a house, you simply cease to be liable by writing to the water company to inform them of the fact.

 

The letting agency wrote to the water company to tell them I'm no longer liable, so I would have thought that ends my liability. The only difference here is that I still have a connection to the property by being the landlord, and so if the tenant defaults is there any special exception to the law which means I'm liable for the tenant's default (where the tenant never made any contact themselves with the water co)?

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Any user of utilities must enter into a contract or acknowledge they accept, by default maybe, for that supply, otherwise who pays for it.

Your agent may well have sent a letter, but did they receive it?

If the water co have no knowledge of who is using the water then they will send bills to the occupier ( if they don't know the name ) or eventually the registered owner, it would then be up to the owner to sue the previous tenant for that amount or get the water co to go after them direct.

No exemptions as far as I am aware.

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Thanks again 45002

 

From the LLZ forum I have been given the advice that for tenancies prior to Oct 2010 then the occupier of the premises is the liable person, full stop.

The Flood and Water Management Act 2010, states that LL is only liable if they fail to provide the water company with the tenant's details.

 

As my tenancy pre-dates the act, I have quoted section 144(1) of the Water Inductries Act 1991 which states that the occupier is the liable person.

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  • 6 months later...

Solution: Bournemouth & West Hants Water (SEMBCORP) and myself negotiated a compromise

 

I filed an N244 and when I got to court found out that the process of setting aside bars the plaintiff from resubmission, so the judge wanted to hear a defence and counterclaim on the same day. There were some issues regarding the timeliness of my application, the courts records of the judgement had been incorrectly entered onto the computer, and so the judge requested that we needed a full 1/2 day hearing to be scheduled at a later date.

 

The water companies lawyer said that they didn't want an expensive counterclaim, and that's why they spent the whole day travelling up from Bournemouth to Reading and that they were open to negotiation to avoid another day's costs.

 

As I realised my timeliness put me on a sticky wicket with regards to my counterclaim, so we agreed that if I dropped the counterclaim then the water company would agree to setting aside and thus the court would expunge the judgement from my credit reference file.

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