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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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FAO Jo C.Deemed Energy Contract Question.As a Landlord,

Customer Question

FAO Jo C.

Deemed Energy Contract Question.

As a Landlord, a utility company is perusing me for a utility bill.

I have asked for a copy of the contract between us, and I am told "The reason there is no contract to send it because with all properties the owner of the property is responsible for paying the utility bills. Unless they can provide a contract (such as a change of tenancy) that gives confirmation that someone else is responsible for the utility bills for a set time frame".

Researching deemed contract it appears "The law on "deemed" electricity supply contracts - where power is supplied to a customer without a formal contract having been drawn up, commonly when the ownership or occupation of a premises changes - is hazy."

Further - The relevant paragraph in the Utilities Act 2000 states: "Where an electricity supplier supplies electricity to any premises otherwise than in pursuance of a contract, the supplier shall be deemed to have contracted with the occupier (or the owner if the premises are unoccupied) for the supply of electricity as from the time when he began so to supply electricity."

Ofgem clarified its view on the matter: it said that deemed contracts apply only once gas or electricity is consumed. It accepts, though, that its view is non-binding and that interpretation of the legislation is ultimately a matter for the courts.

So, is the view that, once a tenant leaves a property, if there is no energy consumed by the landlord, there is no deemed contract, and therefor no liability to the landlord?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I've been working hard to find a Professional to assist you with your question, but sometimes finding the right Professional can take a little longer than expected.

I wonder whether you're ok with continuing to wait for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will continue my search. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you.

Thank you!
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Yep, that's fine!
Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

We will continue to look for a Professional to assist you.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I have a couple of questions awaiting answers at the moment Nicola.

Expert:  Nicola-mod replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

I think your other question has now been answered here:

http://www.justanswer.co.uk/tax/8irzf-property-rental-income-taxation-question-property-owned.html

We will continue to look for someone to assist with this question.

Thank you for your patience,
Nicola
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.

Was there energy consumed after the tenant left please?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

no Alex,


 


Power was turned off and no energy consumed.

Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
If the tenants were in possession then you are not liable, save for any standing charge.

You are only liable if energy was consumed as there would be an implied contract.

However whilst the tenants are in possession then unless there is a lease/tenancy agreement that states otherwise the Landlord will not be liable for any power consumed.

Let them try and sue you, if it is below £10,000 it would be a small claim in any event.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?

Alex

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and 3 other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Alex,

Have the water companies been given similar guidance to Ofcom as to usage of the utility?

Regards
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Not that I have seen, but that does not mean it does not exist.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Happy to help.