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who is responsible for unpaid bills?


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I have had my 1st tennants leave and return to their home in Poland with 2 weeks notice 4 months into a 6 month agreement. I have kept the bond under the impression that there was 1 month outstanding on the bills and when I have received them the tennants have paid nothing all the time they have been there.

I really don't know what to do. Will I be responsible for the bills? I have no forwarding address and although I have a mobile number they are not responding in any way.

To make matters worse their friends have taken over the flat and I am frightened these will do the same?

Any advice you could give me would be really appreciated!

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Hi - this is turning into a real mess - but there are a number of different issues that need to be addressed.

1) Assuming you did not include utility bills as part of the monthly rent then the contract relating to all utility bills is between the tenant and the utility company. ie:

The utility company will need to chase the tenants for any outstanding money. It is not the landlords responsibility to either chase the debt or pay the money. You did not use the utilities - your tenants did.

2) You need to rapidly take control of this situation .Why have their friends moved in ? Did you give the friends permission to move in ? Have you established a tenancy agreement with their friends ?

If not - you need to go around and see the friends and either a) get them to leave or :D establish a tenancy agreement with them.

If they won't leave of their own free will then this might get ugly ......

3) Be more choosy on who you let your property to in the future .......

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Hi there thanks for the advice.

I have set up a new tennancy agreement with them. Is there any way I can make sure they pay their bills?

What should I tell the utility suppliers and council tax? I have no idea how to get in touch with them?

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1) You can never be sure that the tenant will pay their bills. But your contract should make clear that utilities are the tenants responsibility.

2) I recommend contacting each utility supplier and the taxing district council. (Preferably you should know who these are before letting the property.)

Explain the position regarding the previous tenants and inform them of the names of the new ones. Otherwise you run the risk of your (new) tenants supply being turned off when the utility chases the debt of the previous one.

In my experience the utilities and district council will be sympathetic if you keep them informed. They carry out their own debt chasing and will leave your property alone as soon as they know you have a new tenant.

Regarding rent payments, check your letting account immediately after every due date. If a payment is missed, after two weeks remind them in writing that you will take appropriate legal action. If rents fall more than two months overdue you have grounds to obtain an eviction order from the court.

I learnt all this the hard way. Good luck!

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Me too Webb

My worst Tenant ever was a Canadian!! Did a Moonlight Flit owing rent to me plus outstanding utilitys/telephone of over £3000!! The utiity Companies chased him to Canada and took him to Court and as far as I was told he had a Court Order placed against his Home so I guess he paid up.

I never have foreigners in my properties anymore unless they are underwritten by their Parent Company as a Guarantor of Payment. Lessen the risk at every opportunity is my motto!

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