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    • The companies you tried to arrange supplies with, should have told you there was a problem registering account for new address. If they could not contact you by phone, they should have written to you.   Had they done this, then this would have been resolved.    Don't bother complaining to Marston's. It is the energy companies that should have done more. 
    • I'm not sure what the form is – would your new suppliers normally have contacted the old supplier to say that there was a change? If you could show that spark should have known that they were no longer dealing with the account holder at the time that they apply for the warrant, then it seems to me that they do bear some culpability. By the way one of the site team mentioned that at some point Marston would contact me. I'm afraid that's not the way it works. I've now referred the matter to Marston and they may well decide to contact you – the Original Poster for more information or simply to inform you that in the circumstances that there is nothing that they are able to do. I'm afraid it's out of my hands and I never asked for or ever receive any feedback about the references I make to them at this level
    • I've forwarded the details of this to Marston – but I'm not sure that there is much that can be done in the circumstances. If the energy company had been informed – or if they had reason to know that their customer was no longer at the address then of course obtaining the warrant was outrageous. As it is, it would seem that the previous tenant hadn't informed them and had simply done a runner – and unfortunately you have taken no action to return any mail to the sender so as far as I gather, there is no reason for the energy company to have known what has happened. Please note that I haven't really looked through this thread very carefully since I originally posted so are not au fait/can't remember all of the details – but that is my sketchy understanding. If this is the case then, although of course something needs to be sorted out – I have to say that it would have been helpful if you had either opened the mail or returned it. I know that you say that you have never had to do this in the past – but maybe it would be good practice in the future. It could be that in the past you have simply been lucky. You are talking about clearing the balance of some outstanding debt which belongs to somebody else? This seems to be extraordinary to me – but then I'm afraid I haven't been following the thread very closely  
    • So here is where things stand at the moment (sorry it's a very long post!):   I moved into this property in November.  I contacted both my electric and gas suppliers to change address and get my accounts moved over.   Electric - I closed my old account from my previous address, opened a new account for this address, set up a direct debit and requested they become the supplier.  The only thing that was outstanding on the account was a discussion about tariffs.  On 21st November they tried to call me but I didn't answer (judging from the time I was probably driving home from work).  I received a payment from them at the end of November from my previous account (which I clearly didn't check as I thought it was money going out for my direct debit).  I incorrectly assumed the call was about tariffs, which tbh, I'm not really fussed about. Their request to become the supplier was rejected but they didn't follow up on it or try to contact me again.  So I, like an idiot, thought it was all sorted out.  It's only now that I've been through my account that I realise they haven't been taking payments. I have spoken to them since Friday and the above is what they have told me has happened.   Gas - I closed my old account and have been trying to get a new account opened since November.  I have had several discussions with them re: the change request being rejected and they didn't know why it was being rejected but to leave it with them.  They told me at the beginning of this month it would be done by the 21st January.  During this phone call they said I could call the current supplier to make sure it goes smoothly but that it wasn't essential as they expected it to be completed by the 21st.  Last week they sent me a final demand for my previous address.  I contacted them to raise a complaint as I thought they were at fault, as I expected it to have been changed as per the above.   I spoke to them on Saturday and have sorted out my final bill and they have advised me to open accounts with the current supplier, Spark, clear them and then I can switch. Interestingly they also told me that Spark went bust in 2018 and it is a company called Ovo who are on the national database as the gas supplier.   Spark - This is the company who changed the meters on Friday.  I have two letters (one for gas, one for electric) that were left with the smart meter they had plugged in in the kitchen, both addressed to the previous tenant.  I obviously did open these on Friday.  Both letters state that they had changed the meters to prepayment meters.  There are several boxes that list current debt, amount of credit on meters etc none of which are filled in.  They also state that a booklet has been left explaining how the smart meter works.  There was no booklet. When I contacted them on Friday they told me that I was in fact on credit meters (I don't know if they changed this remotely when they realised I wasn't the person with the debt).  They also told me they had every right to enter the property and aren't able to check every time who the current occupant is and I should have told them I'd moved in.  I was told that someone would call me at 1pm on Saturday to discuss my complaint, thus far no one has called me.   I spoke with citizen's advice yesterday who really weren't much help tbh.  They said I should have contacted the current supplier when I moved in and provided a copy of my tenancy agreement.  I've moved A LOT over the years and have never had to do this.  I have checked several energy supplier websites and they all state to switch to them or move home simply to contact them and they will basically do the rest, not one of them states that you need to call the current supplier... obviously, on reflection I really wish I had!   My letting agent/landlord have requested that I take any post for the previous tenant to them and they will return it.  They also want confirmation of what type of meter (prepayment or credit) is now in the house.  The locks were changed when I moved in so only myself, the letting agent and the landlord have a key.  None of us let them in on Friday.     My next step is to open accounts with Spark/Ovo, clear the balances since November and then change suppliers.    All of the above have advised me to follow Spark's complaint procedure which I will do but as I said above they haven't contacted me so far re: the complaint I made on Friday.   Should I also contact Marston's to raise a complaint with them?   Whilst in all of this I do appreciate I could have done a fair bit to have made my life easier and probably prevented this happening (hindsight is wonderful!) my main complaint is that neither Spark nor Marston's felt they needed to perform a very simple check and see who actually lives in the property before breaking in.  I cannot for the life of me see how this is acceptable or legal.  Whilst they had the legal right and a warrant to enter the previous tenant's property as far as I am concerned they had no right to enter mine.    
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Karlos1

Claiming expenses after successful defence of claim

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Just after a bit of advice. I have successfully defended a claim brought against me and at the end of the hearing I asked the Judge if I could submit financials for consideration. I was told I could claim £45 for a half day hearing attendance but no more. The case has actually cost me £1200 to defend (time off work, mileage, parking etc) which is of course a tad annoying. Seems unfair that I can be dragged through the civil legal system, win the case and be out of pocket. Is this normal?

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Was this a small claim? If so, the amount that can be claimed for expenses is extremely limited. I'm also finding it a little difficult to work out how it could have cost you £1200 to defend unless you instructed a solicitor.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Was this a small claim? If so, the amount that can be claimed for expenses is extremely limited. I'm also finding it a little difficult to work out how it could have cost you £1200 to defend unless you instructed a solicitor.

 

Yes it was small claims court. £1200 in lost wages due to the hours spent writing my defence etc ( I work for myself and charge by the hour).

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Unfortunately costs in small claims are limited to £50 plus time spent at the actual hearing. Whilst frustrating, this is so that people aren't put off using the Courts because of the risks of paying the other parties costs, which are often completely disproportionate to the amount of the claim.

 

I appreciate that someone who is self-employed often works very long hours, but most people would have been able to deal with the paperwork around their work commitments. The only chance would have been if you could prove that the claimant's behaviour was unreasonable from the outset, but that is a very high bar to cross and the fact that they lost is nowhere near enough.

 

It may be small consolation, but at least you did win.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Yes it was small claims court. £1200 in lost wages due to the hours spent writing my defence etc ( I work for myself and charge by the hour).

 

Long Defence at that rate? self employed - ever been on a jury and tried to claim over above their figure


:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:

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Long Defence at that rate? self employed - ever been on a jury and tried to claim over above their figure

 

Took a lot of time to put together. No, never been on Jury duty thankfully!

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Llp rate would have to show how got to the figure, even high grade solicitor has a ceiling by grade on cost etc, you are dreaming in regards that figure and be shown as a chancer by a judge,, no doubt they will see straight thru it, jury i.e self employed , by the way jury service is not voluntary you would need a good excuse not to attend, but the experience can be an eye opener for you of what things are happening around you that you do not know.


:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:

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Llp rate would have to show how got to the figure, even high grade solicitor has a ceiling by grade on cost etc, you are dreaming in regards that figure and be shown as a chancer by a judge,, no doubt they will see straight thru it, jury i.e self employed , by the way jury service is not voluntary you would need a good excuse not to attend, but the experience can be an eye opener for you of what things are happening around you that you do not know.

 

Yes, appreciate that there are ceilings etc. I'm not self employed but company owner. It's very easy to reach £1200 very quickly with hours put in and mileage, parking etc etc. Just seems unfair that someone can be dragged through the legal process, win the case and be out of pocket. Never mind, it's all done now so time to move on I guess. As for Jury service, one of my lads has just done it this month. Very interesting by all accounts although I would rather not get called up personally.

 

Thanks for the replies all.

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unfortunately that is the so called legal service of this country, when you think the DJ is on £100,000 + per year and causing misery in most cases


:mad2::-x:jaw::sad:

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As mentioned above..this is the norm in a small claim...as a litigant in person in can work to your advantage, for example many companies need to employ a solicitor at a cost of at least £100 - £200 per hour, on the small track they cant claim this back so its often uneconimical for them to chase you for small amounts.

 

Actually losing £1200 does sound excessive to be honest, as mentioned you should be able to fit the work around your work..actually having days off and losing money is rare.

 

There are some ways to get costs (this is how you should refer to it)...first is to use the strike out process to get rid of the claim completely (or partially) at a very early stage, pre-allocation, pre-allocation means before it has been allocated to track (small) and therefore the normal costs rules DO apply. The otjher is to point out to the judge the other side behaved unreasonably or did something that made you incur more costs or dragged the dispute out.

 

Read the CPR as all of this is covered > https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil

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