Connecting the gas without putting it in someone's name?

Our new tenant called me yesterday to say he had opened a letter from a gas company addressed to "The Resident" at the address of the IP. He thought it was for him, but it was an overdue gas bill, mid $100s.

He was worried that his gas could be disconnected, although he is with a different gas company.

I picked up the letter and called the gas company. Chap was keen to know the name of the old tenant. I asked if the bill was in someone's name and he said it is in the name of "The Resident".

I will put it in the letterbox of the old tenant, who moved only a few streets away and he can decide what he wants to do. The letter threatens action by a collection agency.

Who do they plan to collect from if they don't have a name?

Chap from the gas company asked me to send a copy of the lease, which I said I would not do, as they cannot give me any information due to privacy, but they want me to send a lease document to them. What about privacy?

I told him I was not prepared to send that document and that I didn't know legally where I stood giving out information to them, citing privacy concerns myself.

The interesting thing was that he "locked" the account so that nobody would cut off the gas. I asked him is that possible. He said it was possible (hence the lock on the account to stop that happening). I suggested that would be grossly unfair to cut off the gas to the new tenant who had nothing to do with the overdue account and who was paying another provider.

Has anybody had power connected without a name on the bill?

Most curious :confused:.
 
It isn't really your problem, is it?

Firstly, for them to be billing anyone, they need to have the name of the person they are billing. I would 'love' to see a collection agency try to enforce collection against 'the resident' - I have never known anyone to hold that name before. ;)

It most certainly would be a breach of privacy for you to pass along the details of either previous or current tenants, without consent.

Secondly, this is an issue for the tenants to sort out with their gas providers, not the LL.

Either way, not your problem.
 
Just thought I would add that this sort of double billing occurs alot, and is on of the reasons I am wary of the new credit rating system.
 
I agree that it is not my problem, and I did tell the chap exactly that. My tenant was happy to throw the letter away, but was worried the gas could be cut off (correct).

Being the mother of a young man, I took it on as a good deed and will drop it into the letterbox where the tenant has moved to so that he can save himself from being chased and getting a bad credit rating. What he does with the notice is entirely up to him.

I was more curious about why the gas company would sign up and open an account without knowing someone's name to put the bill into. I find that quite un-businesslike.

I was smiling inwardly when he wanted me to send him a copy of the lease, after just citing privacy law to me about not being able to give ME any information.

Even if they did cut off the gas for the new tenant, that is not my business either, but I was quite happy for the gas chap to tell me that he has noted the account so that will not happen.

I would think they would have a lot to answer for if they cut off the gas, but I suppose for all they know, the tenant still lives there. Surely they would check that out first?
 
Gas does not get get switched off when a resident leaves, the account is closed and if no one else creates an account, then gas stays connected and is billed to 'the resident'.

I've had this situation before when I was a tenant, I signed my Gas and Electricity up at the same time (I thought) 6 months later a bill arrived to 'the resident' for Gas. As I knew I had used the Gas so I called and paid the bill. I also had my electricity with the same company so thought I would be caught anyway.
 
Surprise surprise I have had this happen a couple of times. Mainly where there is central hot water with the tenant not even knowing that he has 'gas'. Isn't the hot water free - off course:rolleyes:

Anyway each time I have simply given the tenants details and let them do what they want. One way or another problem goes away.

Cheers
 
Gas does not get get switched off when a resident leaves, the account is closed and if no one else creates an account, then gas stays connected and is billed to 'the resident'.

I noticed a bill to 'the resident' from some gas company at my IP when I first purchased it and it was vacant. I just threw it out, as I had only just taken over the property and figured it wasn't my problem. Haven't heard anything since.

If the gas doesn't get switched off when someone leaves, who is responsible for it? The owner? As someone said, can they really get a debt collector onto 'the resident'? Why isn't it switched off? If it can't be, then if this mystery bill isn't paid, can they turn the gas off on the new tenant?
 
If the gas doesn't get switched off when someone leaves, who is responsible for it? The owner?

I asked this question, and didn't really get a proper answer. I am not concerned as I think they would be hard pressed to charge us for it.

As someone said, can they really get a debt collector onto 'the resident'?

Gas chappy said that is what will happen, and was very keen to get a name, but I'm sure they couldn't pursue someone without a name.

Why isn't it switched off? If it can't be, then if this mystery bill isn't paid, can they turn the gas off on the new tenant?

It was a real possibility according to the gas chappy :eek:. I'd like to know what the rights of the current tenant, signed up and paying another provider would have if a different gas company turned off the gas due to non payment by a complete stranger who no longer lives there. I reckon there would be a bun fight.
 
I noticed a bill to 'the resident' from some gas company at my IP when I first purchased it and it was vacant. I just threw it out, as I had only just taken over the property and figured it wasn't my problem. Haven't heard anything since.

If the gas doesn't get switched off when someone leaves, who is responsible for it? The owner? As someone said, can they really get a debt collector onto 'the resident'? Why isn't it switched off? If it can't be, then if this mystery bill isn't paid, can they turn the gas off on the new tenant?

Gas can be turned off and on by anyone, just go out and turn the tap on/off yourself. Each connection is based on connection to an individual, so it the previous tenants responsibility to pay, however it is up to the Gas company to find them.
In short, gas usage is the responsibility of the person living in the property at the time, therefore it is not the responsibility of the owner or current tenant to pay.
 
Gas can be turned off and on by anyone, just go out and turn the tap on/off yourself.

When the chap from the gas company said it was likely that the gas would be turned off, I didn't think he meant at the house, but at the next junction, but I didn't ask specifically. If it is just at the meter, then the current tenant could just walk over and turn it back on :confused:.

Each connection is based on connection to an individual, so it the previous tenants responsibility to pay, however it is up to the Gas company to find them.

In short, gas usage is the responsibility of the person living in the property at the time, therefore it is not the responsibility of the owner or current tenant to pay.

.... which is why I would be very peeved if they had just waltzed in and "disconnected" or "turned off" the supply without firstly checking (with the landlord or the tenant) whether in fact that tenant is the same one that the overdue account is meant for.

I do know that when my mother had tenants skip last August, the electric supply company called around, saw someone was in the yard, and for that reason would not disconnect the electricity.
 
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