Big water bill, but on someone else's name

in Water bills
5 replies 3.2K views
Mike85Mike85 Forumite
7 Posts
Sixth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
Forumite
Hi,
We live in a shared house that we rent. over the years there were numerous people lived here and we have a bill just over £2000 and that is about 5 years of water.

Its a bit twisted but i try to explain. 5 years ago 2 of the ex tenants (they already left) came over from another house and when united utilities asked where they move they gave them the current address. And this is where the problem starts because UU was registered to a 'name' (a 3rd person from their old rent) who never lived here so everyone just ignored the letters.

So since nobody could remember when we paid water bill last time, i opened The UU letter of this 'name' and find out there is a nice amount came together over the years.
Okay so me personally only live here since 3 years and we have the money to pay this right away, but i don't want to contact them on the phone number stated on the letter, they don't need to know that i opened it. Anyone has a good tip how this can be sorted or what can i expect?
Basically i just won't pay anyone else's bill, but i'm ready to clear my bebt.

Replies

  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    Forumite
    Welcome to the forum.


    You need to 'Google' 'jointly and severally liable'.


    Essentially a Utility company can hold any resident liable for the whole bill.


    Utility companies will never get involved in a 'third person dispute' i.e. who paid ??, how long have the residents lived there? did someone collect money from other residents etc etc.


    If they get the name of a single person who currently lives in the property, or did live in the property, then they will have responsibility for the whole outstanding bill.


    Whilst that may be unfair, the simple fact is that every resident, past and present, should have faced up to the responsibility of paying the bill.


    The 'unlucky resident who gets the bill in his name will need to collect money from other residents, or take them to the Small Claims court.
  • Mike85Mike85 Forumite
    7 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Thank you for the answer.
  • Mike85Mike85 Forumite
    7 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    So, i was thinking and i don't want a 2grand debt on my name, maybe i should just start pay it up on the cheque we got in the letter that would make them calm down a bit.
    But anyway i think i will contact with the landlord.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
    28.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Rampant Recycler
    Forumite
    The trouble is that United Utilities will soon pass the debt to a Debt Collection Agency and your troubles will really start.


    There have been loads of cases on MSE - particularly in student houses - where the water/gas company have been given a name of an occupant and the whole bill is then in their name.
  • Mike85Mike85 Forumite
    7 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    I've contacted with UU and they said they won't expect me to pay previous tennants debt just need to open a new account.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Fans demand refunds from Leeds Festival

...after Rage Against The Machine pulls out

MSE News

The 'Ask An Expert' event

Check out last week's energy-themed Q&A with MSE's experts

MSE Forum

Free museums & galleries

Where to get your culture fix across the UK

MSE Deals