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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3612
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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I am the owner of a golf driving range, I franchise the shop

Customer Question

I am the owner of a golf driving range, I franchise the shop within this range to another person and the lease expires on October 31st. Within the lease it states that the franchisee is responsive for 1/3 of the electricity bill. I have just received an electricity bill from EON for £4,265, which includes electricity that we have not paid for due to the meter being read wrongly by one of their meters readers over a period of time. I am now of course responsible for this backlog, but I have billed the franchisee for 1/3 of this amount as it is for the period of time that he has held the lease. He of course is furious about this and refusing to pay, can you tell me how he stands legally over this please. Many thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you for your question and welcome.
My name is ***** ***** I will assist you.
What is the contractual phrase in lease that makes him liable for this?
Do you have the exact wording?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Clause 6 states - The Golf Lab is responsible for the following expenses:

1.Alarm

2.Insurance

3.Lighting & Heating one third of quarterly bill

Telephone & INternet

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
What is your normal procedure for recovering this from him? Do you send him an invoice?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes, I invoice him quarterly, I have also sent a separate invoice for the extra amount, explaining what has happened with the error and I have given him a copy of the bill from EON

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Unfortunately for your tenant you are are only statute barred from claiming sums he is contractually liable for after 6 years.
Ultimately it is not your fault that the meter had an error. This individual is liable for the electricity used and as long as you properly invoiced him for the electricity in accordance with the contract he is liable to pay it.
Is he currently refusing?
Kind regards
AJ
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3612
Experience: Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
Alex J. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes he is refusing to discuss the matter saying he is seeking advice and will talk about it when he is ready

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
What are the payment terms on the invoice? 30 days or payment on demand?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Payment within 4 days is on all invoices

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I sent a reply informing you that payment was within 4 days on every invoice, have not had a response yet?

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
I just received this.
You cannot take legal action until the money is due and owing.
If the tenant wont pay your options are to either:
1. Sue him in the county court https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome
- but you need to give 7 days notice;
2. Service him with a Statutory Demand - this is a cheaper way of resolving things - this is a formal demand for money and he will have 21 days to pay at which point you could start insolvency proceedings against him https://www.gov.uk/statutory-demands/overview;
3. Negotiate a settlement - this is the obvious choice if you want a harmonious relationship and he is refusing point blank to pay.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks I will keep you informed

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you.
I wish you the best of luck.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Good Morning Following on from our previous conversations the tenants franchise express today and he is still refusing to pay the outstanding amount so I am going to issue him with a Statutory Demand, he has also cleared the premises taking with him the fridge, telephone, and desk all of which was provided for him initially. His argument being that he has replaced them during his term time and he has receipts for them, surely he should leave the premises supplied with the same items that were there when he took over the franchise is that correct? I would appreciate your device please. Many thanks

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Were any of these items included in an inventory?
Clearing out the premises seems a little drastic over £1800 odd - is there a wider issue here - was he potentially in financial difficulty already?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, unfortunately not, it was more of a gentleman's agreement! I all be reporting this situation to the PGA which is the governing body of Professional Golfers, but just wanted to know where I stood legally?

I do not know his financial situation, it was the end of his franchise and he had made noises to the fact that he wanted to leave so I decided that is was the right time for him to go

Kind regards

Grahame

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Did you consent to him throwing away your old desk and fridge?
Has he caused damage when moving out?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No I gave no consent whatsoever I expected the items to be left as initially provided and he has burnt the desk. He also needs to return two sets of keys

regards

Grahame

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Ok thank you - my last question -did he have exclusive possession of the property? Were you allowed to enter without his permission at any time?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I was allowed to enter without his permission however I was not allowed to have any of my possessions or signage within the shop, the shop formed a part of the main entrance to the range

I hope that helps & makes sense

thanks

Grahame

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
Technically it sounds like he had the property under licence. If he has damages the property then he is responsible for the damage caused.
This all comes down to equating your loss. Do you know what your loss is for the damage done?
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It's not so much the loss more the principle!

what about the keys

thanks

Grahame

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Thank you.
He should return the keys as well. If he does not do this in a reasonable period of time you should put him on notice, that if he does not give them back you reserve the right to recover any loss you suffer in having to change the locks.
Kind regards
AJ
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Many thanks I will keep you informed

Kind regards

Grahame

Expert:  Alex J. replied 2 years ago.
No problem.
I wish you the best of luck.
Kind regards
AJ

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