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    • Farmer Palmer
    • By Farmer Palmer 7th Feb 18, 10:36 AM
    • 4Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Farmer Palmer
    Gas bill for property derelict since 2002
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:36 AM
    Gas bill for property derelict since 2002 7th Feb 18 at 10:36 AM
    Sorry if this has been touched on before, I had a quick search and didn't see anything relevant.

    I've owned a property since 2002 which has been in a derelict state since before I bought it, i've never registered with the gas board as I was of the understanding the gas was cut off. Just recently I have received an invoice for standing charges for the gas, addressed to the former owner but at one of our separate addresses to the property in question.

    - I've never entered into a contract with anyone
    - Invoice is not in my name
    - We own the property adjoining this and have had various businesses using that in the years since we bought it, no invoices have ever found there way there for the gas despite all other mail going to it for the derelict property
    - We've never received any invoices up until very recently to our other addresses

    Where do I stand?
Page 1
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 7th Feb 18, 10:47 AM
    • 5,185 Posts
    • 3,178 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:47 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:47 AM
    Get proper legal advice and ask for an opinion on whether you have been in a Deemed Contract with the supplier since 2002. A Deemed Contract does not require you to sign anything. It is though a complex legal area. Normally, when a property has a meter/s, then a standing charges/s do apply.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 7th Feb 18, 2:19 PM
    • 1,037 Posts
    • 890 Thanks
    House Martin
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:19 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:19 PM
    Sorry if this has been touched on before, I had a quick search and didn't see anything relevant.

    I've owned a property since 2002 which has been in a derelict state since before I bought it, i've never registered with the gas board as I was of the understanding the gas was cut off. Just recently I have received an invoice for standing charges for the gas, addressed to the former owner but at one of our separate addresses to the property in question.

    - I've never entered into a contract with anyone
    - Invoice is not in my name
    - We own the property adjoining this and have had various businesses using that in the years since we bought it, no invoices have ever found there way there for the gas despite all other mail going to it for the derelict property
    - We've never received any invoices up until very recently to our other addresses

    Where do I stand?
    Originally posted by Farmer Palmer
    You will owe standing charges from completion day onwards. At some time now you will be asked the question what date you took over ownership of the property and you will have to answer it . the supplier can easily check with the Land Registry if they need to, as can anyone else for that matter for a small fee.
    I can t see anyway out of it than to come clean and pay what you owe.It s around £85 a year for gas standing charges with BG for instance. The electricity account will also most probably attract standing charges for 15 years too. Eon are known on here not to apply standing charges so long as not one kwh has been used
    If you had bothered to take advice on here much earlier we would have advised you to switch to Ebico who do not apply standing charges on their (now ) Ebico zero tariff.
    Switch to this supplier once you register with the existing supplier.
    Personally I would nt waste money on legal advice or Citizens Advice .not sure solicitors are much good for this sort of thing.There are better advisers on here free.
    I had an empty property and through laziness did nt switch to Ebico for 9 months but was paying £30 a month standing charges to BG, but was paying much higher in full council tax for 15 months which hurt much more.. My local council now apply full council tax to empty properties to encourage owners to either rent or sell
    Last edited by House Martin; 07-02-2018 at 2:45 PM.
    • Farmer Palmer
    • By Farmer Palmer 7th Feb 18, 2:44 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Farmer Palmer
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:44 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:44 PM
    You will owe standing charges from completion day onwards. At some time now you will be asked the question what date you took over ownership of the property and you will have to answer it . BG can easily check with the Land Registry if they need to, as can anyone else for that matter for a small fee.
    I can t see anyway out of it than to come clean and pay what you owe.It s around £85 a year for gas standing charges with BG. The electricity account will also most probably attract standing charges for 15 years too.
    If you had bothered to take advice on here much earlier we would have advised you to switch to Ebico who do not apply standing charges on their (now ) Ebico zero tariff.
    Switch to this supplier once you register with BG.
    Personally I would nt waste money on legal advice or Citizens Advice .not sure solicitors are much good for this sort of thing.There are better advisers on here free
    Originally posted by House Martin
    Hmm, I would be surprised if they could go back more than 6 years which seems the norm when it comes to standard debts?

    I only received the bill in the past few days, so I have bothered to come here pretty much straight away.

    I have been using and paying for electricity on that site since day one so no issues there.

    I don't need the gas so will get it disconnected, my main query was if there was a way around paying the outstanding amounts which is around £1400 according to their bill, based on 6 years at say £85 per year then I should be able to get it down to £510, assuming they work on the same basis as it would be if I was chasing them for a debt.
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 7th Feb 18, 2:52 PM
    • 5,185 Posts
    • 3,178 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:52 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 2:52 PM
    Hmm, I would be surprised if they could go back more than 6 years which seems the norm when it comes to standard debts?

    I only received the bill in the past few days, so I have bothered to come here pretty much straight away.

    I have been using and paying for electricity on that site since day one so no issues there.

    I don't need the gas so will get it disconnected, my main query was if there was a way around paying the outstanding amounts which is around £1400 according to their bill, based on 6 years at say £85 per year then I should be able to get it down to £510, assuming they work on the same basis as it would be if I was chasing them for a debt.
    Originally posted by Farmer Palmer
    Limitation Act - my uniformed guess is that it should apply. I would thought though that the supplier would have been aware of this limitation when raising the bill.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 7th Feb 18, 6:00 PM
    • 17,927 Posts
    • 12,201 Thanks
    molerat
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 6:00 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 6:00 PM
    It could be argued that as you have used no energy in the property you have not entered into a deemed contract.
    www.helpforheroes.org.uk/donations.html
    • dogshome
    • By dogshome 8th Feb 18, 8:35 AM
    • 2,980 Posts
    • 1,524 Thanks
    dogshome
    • #7
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:35 AM
    • #7
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:35 AM
    Follow up on molerat's post.
    From memory, Ofgem the regulator has stated that until the new owner of a dwelling actually uses some Gas/ Elec, no deemed contract exists
    • Hengus
    • By Hengus 8th Feb 18, 8:55 AM
    • 5,185 Posts
    • 3,178 Thanks
    Hengus
    • #8
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:55 AM
    • #8
    • 8th Feb 18, 8:55 AM
    The above is why I suggested to the OP that legal advice is needed on Deemed Contracts.

    https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=3c04c026-e291-436e-878d-ff25e636ac09

    It is worth noting the potential cost of a business disconnection.
    • Farmer Palmer
    • By Farmer Palmer 8th Feb 18, 9:08 AM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    Farmer Palmer
    • #9
    • 8th Feb 18, 9:08 AM
    • #9
    • 8th Feb 18, 9:08 AM
    Follow up on molerat's post.
    From memory, Ofgem the regulator has stated that until the new owner of a dwelling actually uses some Gas/ Elec, no deemed contract exists
    Originally posted by dogshome
    Thats really useful, thank you.

    Quote:
    A deemed contract is normally in place when any type of customer moves into new premises and starts to consume gas, electricity, or both, without agreeing a contract with a supplier. A deemed contract may also exist where an existing contract comes to an end but the customer continues to consume energy. This second possibility could arise in two ways:

    1. If a contract is terminated (by either the supplier or the customer) but the supplier continues to supply the customer, there is likely to be a deemed contract if:

    the original contract does not expressly say what will happen after termination. For example, if it does not say that the original contract terms must apply when you are ‘out of contract’
    the existing customer continues to consume gas, electricity, or both at the premises
    2. Where a contract expires but the customer is still using gas, electricity, or both from the same supplier, a deemed contract is likely to exist if:

    the original contract does not expressly say what will happen after expiry, (eg it does not contain renewal provisions or state that the original terms still apply)
    the existing customer has told the supplier that they don’t want the original contract to continue.
    Around 10% of micro-businesses are on deemed contracts. It’s vital that they are aware that prices on these contracts are on average 80 per cent more than rates charged in a negotiated contract. If you are on a deemed contract you should shop around and compare supplier offers for a new energy contract, as you could make significant savings.
    • House Martin
    • By House Martin 8th Feb 18, 3:38 PM
    • 1,037 Posts
    • 890 Thanks
    House Martin
    I take it that the meter was in place and the supply was nt disconnected as you assumed but simply the control valve turned off..
    I m very surprised that BG did nt make a big effort to view the meter. They are the most vigilant supplier of them all when it comes to meter checks
    In the time from 2002 onwards they would have been trying to access the meter for 2 yearly "must inspection " rules they had in force back in 2002. They would soon be getting a court warrant of access if access to their meter was denied. Meter readers cards and letters would have been sent out many times.
    Don`t forget you can use the Energy Ombudsman for an independent view on BG s demands 8 weeks after the start of a complaint
    Best of luck
    .Can you keep us posted on how it is resolved .We need some update on the "deemed contract no use no charge " question
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