Debt I do not owe

I have just received a letter from debt collection company for "debt" owed to South East water - this bill was dated for 2012-2013 and for a property I had moved out of in September 2011 but on receipt of original bill had been in contact with the company and had provided documentary evidence by way of new tenancy agreement.

I had advised south east water that I had moved but they would not accept the evidence provided stating they wanted closing statement of council tax which i was unable to provide as I was not named on this bill.

I moved from Kent to Peterborough and every accommodation I have lived in has been rented and south east water know who owns the property.

Please advise on what to do the bill is over £462 and I am quite sure I do not owe this money.
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  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    edited 27 November 2016 at 11:35AM
    Welcome to the forum.

    To be named on the bill, you presumably paid water charges for the period you resided at the property?

    Did you notify South East Water when you left the property in Sept 2011? and paid the bill up to that date?

    If you had moved in 2011, how and why was the disputed £462 bill for 2012/13 sent to you? At your Peterborough address? Presumably this 2012/13 bill would be sent before April 2012?
  • unfortunately due to the circumstances of the move I did not let them know - it was an acrimonious split with an ex. I had forgotten about them until I was in receipt of the bill and forwarded a copy of the tenancy agreement with my Peterborough property to prove that I was no longer in residence in the previous property - I had offered to pay up to the date on my tenancy as this was the date that I could prove I was not in the area and therefore not liable for the property.

    South East Water refused to accept the tenancy agreement despite acknowledging that I do not own the property even naming the owner demanding a closing council tax bill - which when I called the council I was unable to obtain due to not having been on this council tax bill.

    South East Water had written to me at the first address I lived at but I do believe if I recall correctly this was not received until 2013 - I immediately contacted them with the above information and then did not hear from them - we then moved nearly 2 years ago again and now the whole process is starting again...

    On last contact with South East Water I had advised them that I would only pay up to the date on my new tenancy and nothing thereafter as I was no longer responsible for the property. I did advise them that if they were still going to pursue this to take me to court. As I have advised I believe the last contact I had with them was at some point in 2013- early 2014 - at no point have I agreed to pay the full bill.

    Where do I stand and where can I go from here because I very much begrudge paying a bill for a property that I did not even live in.
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    You can contact the Consumer Council for Water for advice. http://www.ccwater.org.uk/

    Or call their bluff and request you are taken to court. Above all do not get into any conversation with the Debt Collection Agency - they are not interested in the merits of the case; they only want their money
  • Thank you - unfortunately due to last move I do not still have the bill - should I request this under prove it request?
  • Anjporter wrote: »
    they wanted closing statement of council tax which i was unable to provide as I was not named on this bill.
    If you weren't on the council tax bill, was the household still getting the 25% single occupancy discount?
  • No it was a joint tenancy but council said only his name was on there
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    I am confused about these statements
    1. this bill was dated for 2012-2013 and for a property I had moved out of in September 2011.

    2. South East Water had written to me at the first address I lived at but I do believe if I recall correctly this was not received until 2013 - I immediately contacted them with the above information and then did not hear from them -

    Was this the first address after moving to Peterborough? When you say 'you immediately contacted them' that must have been by letter as you 'had provided documentary evidence by way of new tenancy agreement.' Do you have a copy of that letter?

    The situation is that someone owes South East Water for that period. You have got to provide compelling evidence that you lived elsewhere after Sept 2011. The problem with a tenancy agreement is that I can produce one(from the web) stating I was the sole occupant of 10 Downing Street.

    I would encourage them to take you to court and no doubt a judge will accept your reasons(few people lie in court!) In any case your credit record is probably trashed, so you have nothing to lose.
  • Would electoral role register count? I was also employed at Spalding Sainsbury's from September 2011-January 2012 - no way would I commute 2.5 hours for that 130 miles each way !!
  • The contact was by email and a scanned copy - so the general advice is to ignore until they take me to court?
  • Cardew
    Cardew Posts: 29,034
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    Now the debt is with the DCA they are not interested in your 'excuses' they are trying to intimidate you into paying.

    I didn't say ignore the matter. I said write and state your position clearly and request they take the matter to court so you can present your defence on oath. What is important is that they remove any black mark on your credit record.
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