Surprised by water bill i never signed up for

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
4 replies 2.3K views
XenaorbitXenaorbit Forumite
2 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
I recently received a letter from a credit company telling me that i owe Thames Water a huge amount of money (more than a year's bill of £711.25). I've called to confirm and was told that the account was put under my name by somebody i don't know who (i'm guessing it was my ex-landlord though). Is that even possible? Can someone just transfer another person's name on the bill without her consent? I did not even receive a single bill from Thames Water that was addressed to me on that property where i used to live. I was just surprised that the first letter i will be receiving at my new address about a water bill is from a credit company called Advantis informing me about the huge bill i owe to Thames Water. I feel cheated really and i don't know which step i need to take to defend my case. I've been told that this bill i owe was for the water consumed between April 2011 and November 2012. I've lived on that old property from August 2010 til July 2012 and i have never received a single letter from Thames Water about my water bills nor a reminder about an outstanding balance i need to pay. This water company also claims that they send out bills annually then how come they only have one record of my bill and that is the outstanding balance? Shouldn't i be getting 2 bills since they are claiming that i have not made a payment for 19 months? When i told them that i shouldn't be paying for the bill and it should be my landlord, they asked me to provide a tenancy agreement proving that i have nothing to do with the water bill but i can't provide any because we were not given one. All i had with the landlord was a verbal agreement that all bills will be included in my rent.

I was only renting the room for £250 per month, all bills included. I've lived in that property for 2 years without a problem until recently. Have i known before that i am an account holder at Thames Water then i would have confronted my ex-landlord about this before and would have disputed this account to Thames Water 2 years ago. I've been trying to contact my previous landlord but can't get hold of him coz his number is already disconnected. I think he's into hiding already.

I am thinking that the landlord did this to me intentionally because i was new in this country and was just on a student visa. He must have thought of using my name to escape the payment thinking that i have already left the country.

I am also curious as to how the credit company found out my new address.

If anyone has a good advice, please help. I don't know what to do.

Replies

  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    Welcome to the forum.

    The dispute is obviously between you and your landlord. The occupant pays the bill unless the rental agreement specifically states that the landlord will be responsible.

    You say you 'only rented a room' - were there other occupants - the landlord?

    If you had a verbal agreement that the landlord would pay the bill, then take him to the Small Claims Court
  • Cardew wrote: »
    Welcome to the forum.

    The dispute is obviously between you and your landlord. The occupant pays the bill unless the rental agreement specifically states that the landlord will be responsible.

    You say you 'only rented a room' - were there other occupants - the landlord?

    If you had a verbal agreement that the landlord would pay the bill, then take him to the Small Claims Court


    --- we were 6 or 7 people sharing in the house that time. The landlord didn't live with us.

    I have reported this matter to Action Fraud as someone has used my name and entered me into a contract with thames water without my consent.
  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    You don't have to sign any contract to be liable. As occupier, you and all the other tenants are jointly and severally liable for the entire bill unless your STA states otherwise. TW are not interested in any 3rd party disputes. A verbal agreement is not enough as it's your word against his. if your tenancy agreement states that water is included, then send a copy to TW explaining that the should pursue the LL
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • Kayalana99Kayalana99 Forumite
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    I've been Money Tipped!
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    Are you still in contact with some of the people living thier? I'd tell them that it was a verbal agreement and you never signed a tenacy ,and other 'witnesses' at the property will confirm all bills were paid by the LL.

    Guess its a long shot but you might as well be honest and see where it goes.
    People don't know what they want until you show them.
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