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Welsh water CCJ but I didn't live there?


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I'm a landlord of 1 property. I lived there myself until 2012. When I moved out I gave my forwarding address and duly paid off the last of my bill. Between 2012-2014 tenant A lived at the address, she was registered as living there - from memory I gave these details direct to WW.

 

When she left I wrote to WW giving details of new tenants and included contact details for tenant B for the bill to be set up. Jan 2015

 

Tenant B was a nightmare and has finally left March 2017. I do not have a forwarding address for them.

 

I rang WW to advise of tenant B leaving and to give tenant C details only to be advised that tenant B had never been registered at the address, they had written to 'the occupant' for a while and when they got no response they say they got my details from land registry and billed me at the tenanted address. WW deny ever receiving the letter giving them tenant B's details.

 

WW have obtained judgement back in Dec for nearly £800 and have now sent me bill for the remaining £400. I haven't had any paperwork forwarded to me by the tenants, presumably because they were opening the mail and chucking it in the bin.

 

This has all come as a huge shock, the bond has already partially paid out on damage to the property and the remainder is in dispute for other damage - the amount I've spent to rectify the property is £250 more than was held by the bond scheme so there's nothing left there to claim.

 

I want to know if I can apply for a CCJ to be set aside on the basis that they did have a forwarding address for me and going via land registry was heavy handed and unnecessary. I am going to send a SAR tomorrow.

 

When I spoke to someone in the litigation team and asked her to send details of claim etc all she has sent is a financial review form to justify what payments I can make and when but no information about the claim.

 

She said that they had done everything in their power to contact me. When I queried why they didn't use the address on file that I gave in 2012 her answer was that they have changed systems since then and could not access this information. A different call to a customer service rep though revealed that while not all staff can access the old system it can be done by request - this member of staff agreed that they did have a forwarding address for me.

The litigation woman also implied that no one had taken responsibility for water since I had left the property - the cust service person told me that she could see tenant B had registered so not really sure what the litigation woman thought she would gain by telling me this apart from perhaps to make me doubt my own memory.

 

I am at my wits end about this, although I rent out my only property I pay my interest only mortgage and then pay to rent in a different area where I need to live so I'm not some big shot landlord raking in the cash.

 

Can anyone help?

 

I have no POC at the moment, to the best of my knowledge WW had the tenants details from the letter I sent (that they deny having), they could have looked in their own records for my contact details but didn't resulting in letters, demands and CCJ all going to the tenanted property.

 

The advice of WW is to pay up and then pursue tenant myself - they said they can't get involved in 3rd party claims and they can't go back and put the tenants name on the bill even if they are supplied with proof that they lived there at that time.

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in principle, because you want an occupant of the property during the relevant period, you have no responsibility for the bill. This kind of behaviour is typical of many water companies and they are just downright lazy.

 

On the basis of what you say I would have thought that you would have no problem getting a set-aside on the grounds that you hadn't received the papers and in any event it's not your debt so that the claimants would have no chance of success once you were allowed to file a defence. Your application for a set-aside will cost about £255. Follow the set-aside link to discover the best way of setting about making your application. You will see that the best thing to do is to contact Welsh water and get them to agree to your application.

 

I gather that you are dealing with Welsh water on the telephone and yet you are not recording your calls. Please read our customer services guide and implement the advice there.

 

I would also send Welsh water an SAR immediately because you want to get all the information you can on all accounts and all the systems whether they are new or old. You particularly want to know that they have got a forwarding address. Also, I would have another conversation with them on the telephone and get them to confirm once again that they have your forwarding address and also that they are dealing with an old system which not everyone has access to. Of course, this time you will have implemented our customer services advice and so you will get the whole lot recorded.

 

Presumably you have got copies of all the letters that you have sent Welsh water advising them of change of details et cetera.

 

Of course, it is essential that you get copies of all the court documents. Ask Welsh water to send you a copy of everything but also cover yourself by contacting the courts well and asked them. I seem to remember that they are obliged to respond with all the details you need by email. There may be a form to request this – but asked the court because they will be to tell you. Normally speaking the courts are very helpful – although extremely inefficient.

 

Welsh water's advice is completely wrong and of course they are serving their own interests. If they don't want to play silly bugger's, they should put their hands up and agree to the set-aside and either take the hit or pursue the tenants themselves. It's nothing to do with third-party claims and on the basis of what you say, it's nothing to do with you either. You are not required to provide any proof that the tenant lived there during the relevant time.you may be required to produce some evidence that you didn't live there – and that's the most important thing.

Edited by Mr.P
Corrected court fee
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here's a link to our customer services guide

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They are quoting this legislation

http://www.dwrcymru.com/en/My-Account/Landlords.aspx

 

But I checked on Welsh gov site and they say that post is also an acceptable method of complying and providing the info to Welsh water

 

I will start recording calls - I've been so taken by surprise by all of this it threw me a bit but I'm starting to feel a bit steadier, not to mention angrier!!

Thanks for your help

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I didn't know about those regs.

You had better reappraise my advice in view of the new rules/

 

I have to say that it doesn't seem unreasonable to me

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