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Landlord changed water bill to my name and debt collectors after me

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Landlord changed water bill to my name and debt collectors after me

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
3 replies 4K views
layla94layla94 Forumite
2 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Water Bills
Hello,

I'm wondering if anyone could help me? I moved out of a property one year ago (June 2018) in which all the bills were included in our rent.

I have just got a letter from Adventis addressed to me and one of the other people who I lived with in this property. It states they've been requested to find me by Severn Trent Water, saying my name and the other person and former residents of *address* for an outstanding business issue.

Now as mentioned previously all our bills were included in our monthly rent, which is stated in our contract. It does say that there's a weekly cap of £8 per week and if this is exceeded that they will take the extra money from our deposit (which we settled through the agency in September 2018 and paid anything we owed due to damage etc then). There was no mention of any outstanding bills. It does also say OR the accounts will be changed to tenants name.

Name this is a year after we have moved out, wouldn't the letting agents have to tell us there's outstanding bills and who with so we could sort it out? The fact debt collectors are after me makes me think this bill must be from a while ago? The letting agents have all 3 of our email addresses so could have easily contacted us? Is it illegal to change the account name to ours without us knowing?

The only other thing that makes me think this is very suspicious is that during our 9 months living there, we received lots of final warning letters and debt collectors looking for our landlord. The house was sold and other owners took over our contract during our time there, we didn't sign any other contract as everything was down through the letting agents.

Could it be that the new owners have put our names forward?

I'd really appreciate advice. I'm planning on ringing Adventis and Severn trent tomorrow when they open.

Replies

  • RedKittyRedKitty Forumite
    1 posts
    layla94 wrote: »
    Hello,

    I'm wondering if anyone could help me? I moved out of a property one year ago (June 2018) in which all the bills were included in our rent.

    I have just got a letter from Adventis addressed to me and one of the other people who I lived with in this property. It states they've been requested to find me by Severn Trent Water, saying my name and the other person and former residents of *address* for an outstanding business issue.

    Now as mentioned previously all our bills were included in our monthly rent, which is stated in our contract. It does say that there's a weekly cap of £8 per week and if this is exceeded that they will take the extra money from our deposit (which we settled through the agency in September 2018 and paid anything we owed due to damage etc then). There was no mention of any outstanding bills. It does also say OR the accounts will be changed to tenants name.

    Name this is a year after we have moved out, wouldn't the letting agents have to tell us there's outstanding bills and who with so we could sort it out? The fact debt collectors are after me makes me think this bill must be from a while ago? The letting agents have all 3 of our email addresses so could have easily contacted us? Is it illegal to change the account name to ours without us knowing?

    The only other thing that makes me think this is very suspicious is that during our 9 months living there, we received lots of final warning letters and debt collectors looking for our landlord. The house was sold and other owners took over our contract during our time there, we didn't sign any other contract as everything was down through the letting agents.

    Could it be that the new owners have put our names forward?

    I'd really appreciate advice. I'm planning on ringing Adventis and Severn trent tomorrow when they open.

    I never realised it was so simple to put bills in another persons name.

    I'm spending this afternoon putting all my bills in the name of Boris Johnson. He can afford them, especially after his pending pay rise later this month.

    Your post will save me a fortune. I suggest you do likewise :money:
  • edited 7 July 2019 at 3:05PM
    tacpot12tacpot12 Forumite
    3.7K posts
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    edited 7 July 2019 at 3:05PM
    I would suggest you also ring the lettering agents to establish how much the bill was.

    The basic situation is that that if the water bill is more than £8/wk, you are liable for the excess. If it has not been taken out of your deposit, when it could have been, this does not release you from paying the debt - you still need to pay.

    If you need time to pay, expect the creditor to ask for evidence of this via an income and expenditure form.

    If you have incurred extra costs due to the debt collection process, you might complain to the letting agent about their poor handling of the situation. If they accept the complaint is valid, they might give you a small amount of compensation, say £50. Your case is that had they ask you for the outstanding amount there would have been no need for the landlord to get the bill put into your name.
    The comments I post are my personal opinion. While I try to check everything is correct before posting, I can and do make mistakes, so always check official information sources before relying on my posts.
  • layla94layla94 Forumite
    2 posts
    Hi. Thanks for your advice. I have no problem paying the bill if we exceeded the £8 a week I just find it odd that we were in discussion with the letting agent for 3 months after moving out and that they did not mention the bill whatsoever. I assume that as new tenants moved in they / landlord would have found the final charge for the 9 months we lived there pretty shortly after we moved out.


    It's also complicated because the £8 a month isn't just water it also includes gas and electric and our internet (which we had problems with him paying when we first moved in). So surely I'd have to ask for evidence that all three bills during our tenancy exceeded £1008 (which is the cap for 3x people over the period we were there)?

    Yes I would not pay any additional fees incurred by giving it to a debt collector as they had way of contacting all three of us and were in contact with us fairly regularly.

    I am assuming he's either in debt and has tried to pass it onto us (which would not surprise me seeing as we often had debt collectors round looking for him), or the debt has been passed onto us as we exceeded the bill but have had no communication since late september?
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