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red1

Bailiffs..Wrong Name, Right Address

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My father-in-law left us a house which we rented out. Anyway to cut a long story short, the tenant trashed the house and left. Since then Powergen have tried to chase me for the £700 unpaid gas bill. I informed them, and sent them the tenancy agreement, to show that I did not live at this address.

 

Two weeks ago a hand delivered letter came to my house, with the tenant name (from rented house) and my address and on it saying they would be coming to sieze my goods.

 

I am sick to the back teeth of trying to sort this out.

 

So can I let them load the goods then tell them that this address and my goods are nothing to do with the tenant, or am I pushing it a bit. Also if they took the goods would they be liable for theft?

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It is not a good idea to leave things as they are. And you will have to sort out the problem if you wish to let out the house again.

 

Was the letter from a bailiff acting on a Court Order? If anyone does call

at your house, do not let them in. The last thing you want is your possessions

to be removed. Forget about possible compensation etc that may follow

the levy, it will not make up for the hassle and time expended.

 

If it is a Court Order you have then it certainly wouldn't be theft since the

bailiffs would be acting under the instructions of the Court. And your best

solution there would be to apply to the Court to have the judgement set aside

so that you can put your case to them and have the Court Order quashed.

 

If it is not a Court order, write to Powergen and point out that you are not

the tenant, nor has the tenant ever lived at your current address, and you are looking for the person too since they also owe you money.

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I have already explained this to them, and sent the tenancy agreement to them. Powergen accept the debt is not mine,as do the bailiffs. The problem is that they have put the tenants name on my home address, which the tenant has no association with. I have twice provided them with a rough idea as to where the tenant lives (The boyfriend assaulted someone and his address minus the road number was in the local paper). The thing is I am sick of trying to sort this out as I have spent hours hanging on phones listening to Beethoven's unfinished symphony (which will probably be finished by the time I sort this out).

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Hi red1

 

Who's name is on the powergen account. Is the account in your name or the tenants. If yours, then they will hold you responsible for money owed, if the tenant is named on the account then it is not your responsability if they organised this themselves. If however, you organised the powergen account for them then :-

 

In a case where a landlord had taken out a gas supply in his tenant's name, the judge ruled that the tenant was not liable to pay the bill. The gas supplier's use of the tenant's name on information supplied by a third party did not create a contractual relationship. It might also be possible to use this case to argue an electricity case.

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Hi Billy

I originally arranged a gas supply with British Gas, however the tenant then switched to Powergen still using my name. However, I did not know this till after the tenant left. Powergen accept my version of events as they have no correspondance between us, and they have agreed to chase the tenant for the money. Like I say the bills are now coming in the tenants name, just to the wrong address.

Thanks

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Sorry Red1, my original advice was wrong in that it didn't take into account the warrant was not in your name.

 

However, the law states that the claimant [Powergen] must apply for

the default to be withdrawn if they know that the notice of default

was not delivered.

Under the "Civil procedure Rules 1988 [statutory Instruments 1988]

section 13.5 [2] Claimants Duty To Set Aside Judgement

If a claimant who has entered judgment subsequently has good reason to believe that the particulars of claim did not reach the defendant before the claimant entered judgment, he must -

 

(a) file a request for the judgment to be set aside(GL); or

 

(b) apply to the court for directions.

 

Should Powergen opt not to exercise their duty to apply for a set aside or instructions then I believe you can apply to the Court under the

same Act

 

13.3 - (1) In any other case, the court may set aside(GL) or vary a judgment entered under Part 12 if -

 

(b) it appears to the court that there is some other good reason why -

 

 

(i) the judgment should be set aside or varied; or

 

(ii) the defendant should be allowed to defend the claim.

 

(2) In considering whether to set aside(GL) or vary a judgment entered under Part 12, the matters to which the court must have regard include whether the person seeking to set aside the judgment made an application to do so promptly.

 

So you must get your skates on and nip this in the bud. Check first with

Powergen and see if they will apply for a set aside because they served the summons on the wrong address and therefore the defendant [your

ex lodger] did not receive the summons.[Advise them of their statutory duty].

If not, then you should apply under 13.3 to have the default set aside.

Doubtless you may be able to add compensation to your case.

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When you say you originally organised a gas supply with british gas red1, where you living there at the time or did you organise this for the tenant (the agreement in your name but paid by the tenant), or was the rent paid by the tenant organised to include a payment for gas/electricity? Did the tenant pay all other household bills such as council tax, water rates etc in their own name? Or was this included in their rent and still in your name?

 

I understand your point that the tenant changed the acount to powergen still using your name which they should not have done but what was the arrangement before this. It helps if this can be clarified so that you can protect yourself and complain if your details have been used by the tenant fraudulently. Although you have tried to deal with powergen and it is a pain in the a*rse, if you can sort this with them once and for all, then the bailiff should be taken out of the equation all together. It is important to establish your position first before deciding on what further action you can take to resolve this issue.

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Hi and thanks for all the advice,

When we inherited the house it was delapitated. There was no gas supply. We completely refurbished it. I paid a thousand pounds for a supply to be put into the house by British Gas (using my name). The tenant then took the house. She switched from British Gas to Powergen using my name. After running up a £700 gas bill and smashing the house she left owing £2000 rent.

 

I have never at any time resided at this house.

 

Thanks

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