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Gas/Electrical Companies Gaining Access to Block of Flats for Debts


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Hi

 

I'm sorry if this is the wrong forum for this, please do direct me to the right thread to get advice.

 

Sadly, my neighbour is experiencing financial difficulties which was worsen by the pandemic. I'm doing everything I can to support her. I've just come out of a similar situation myself so have every empathy for her.

 

I mainly work from home so watch out for her should any debt collectors call and refuse to give any details about her whereabouts or let them in.

 

My question is regarding those companies she owes money to gaining access to our block of flats (it's a block of two flats).

 

Yesterday, while I was out, three men gained access to our block; one was wearing a high-viz with 'Gas' on the back so I assume this was British Gas;

 

I assume one of them was a locksmith as there was no sign of forced entry.

 

The gas and electricity control boards for both flats are in the communal area. This was all recorded via my Ring doorbell.

 

One of our other neighbours approached them however the men did the right thing by refusing to go into detail saying the matter was concerning the 'in debt' neighbour only.

 

I have 3 concerns.

 

What is both of our rights for companies and bailiffs forcing entry to the block?

 

Do the gas and electrical companies have the right to switch off supply when the control boards are in the communal area?

 

If they do switch off the wrong supply, what is my right to having it switched back on; do they have to treat this as an emergency?

 

Should our leaseholder be informed in case the locks are changed or damaged, plus the issue regarding the communal board, (which I really don't want to do and this would worsen the problem for my neighbour but we will suffer the consequences if there is any damages)?

 

Many thanks

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Gas/electric people will have court warrants to force entry for safety reasons to check relevant appliances are safe once disconnection or key meters have been fitted.

 

Debt bailiffs can only ever be involved after the issuance of a country court ccj

 

They cannot force entry on consumer debt CCJ's. 

 

The ones you see on a certain TV program are acting as eviction agents only not debts 

 

A DCA is not a bailiff

And have zero legal powers on any debt no matter what it's type 

Never confuse the two 

 

Dx

 

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Thank you so much for the clarification @dx100uk. I do need to educate myself on all this and not base my anxiety on what I see on tv.

 

B x

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To effect forced entry to residential premises the energy company (or their agents) need to obtain a warrant of entry from the Magistrates' Court. This will only authorise them to enter for one of two reasons:

  • For safety reasons (e.g. if there is a suspected gas leak and the owner/tenant will not grant entry).
  • To fit a pre-payment meter when debt has been accumulated.

Neither of these authorise recovery of debt or seizure of goods, etc. Before issuing the warrant the court will want to hear details of the reason for the application and what efforts have been made to engage with the owner/tenant to resolve the matter by other means. They will also want to know that those seeking the warrant have checked whether children or vulnerable adults reside in the property and if so whether any special measures have been deemed necessary when the warrant is exercised.

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An update on the situation with British Gas. They forced entry into our block but didn't attempt to force entry into my neighbour's flat. They didn't leave a note. Nothing was touched. We can only assume they saw the 'communal board', panicked then left.

 

My neighbour has been trying to arrange a meter fitting for some time but British Gas never get back to her with an actual date. I guess they decide to turn up at their own leisure.

 

It upset me to see 3 strange men 'breaking in' to our block, you can image how my neighbour feels. I'm angry for her, I'm angry with British Gas for their actions on the day. If they do it again and I'm home, they will be getting a piece of my mind.

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