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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have received a Notice of Enforcement in relation to a

Resolved Question:

I have received a Notice of Enforcement in relation to a claim by E.On Energy Solutions for electricity used in a flat I own, but have never lived in, in Exmouth. It is for a period when the flat was empty, when it was on the market. It appears the debt relates to dates from when the tenant moved out; and the new owner moved in.
The first I knew of this was when the Notice of Enforcement arrived at my home address in Bath. No bills were sent to me at my home address; yet the notice of enforcement has been sent there.
I have never entered into an electricity supply agreement with E.On.
E.On say that if a flat is empty the responsibility for the energy used automatically goes to the owner.
Will a court expect them to make efforts to trace the owner in these circumstances? It seems they knew my address to send the enforcement notice, but not to send me any bills?
What action can I take?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 6 months ago.

How can I help with this please?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
What action can I take?
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 6 months ago.

So it relates to a period of time when you had sold the flat?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No, it was when the flat was vacant and the flat was on the market
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
It is for a period from Dec 4, 2014 to Sept 8 2015 when the flat was sold. It is 1 bedroom, and the amount said to be owing is £761.77pEven with a tenant it would not use that much electricity. (Heating is Gas)
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Can you let me know please if you are not going to reply to me.
Expert:  Remus2004 replied 6 months ago.

I'm not sure this is my area then.

I will opt out for others.

Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.

Do they have a County Court Judgment against you please?
Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Ok - what you need to do is apply to set that Judgment aside.

If you do that it stops any enforcement action.

You need to do this by completing form N244:

http://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/hmctsformfinder/n244-eng.pdf

The court will set the matter down and decide whether to set Judgment aside.

You need to show that you have a realistic defence to the claim. Therefore you need to file with the application a short statement saying why you dont owe it.

Then if the Judge is satisfied it will be set aside and therefore no claim against you and enforcement action will stop.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Can you tell me whether a defence can be that I never received any bills. Nor did I receive any notification that the court would be hearing the case?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Do they (E.On) have to show they made some effort to find me?I have never been a customer of them.
It appears that a previous tenant of mine was a customer. The tenant left. The flat was empty and I was an absent landlord. E.On say that when a flat is empty the bill automatically is the responsibility of the owner.Someone got my name and address to send the Notice of Enforcement, so I am suprised they did not get my name and address when issuing the bills.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
to send the bills.
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Not getting bills is a defence, but not receiving Court documents.

Eon need to serve at the last known residential address or you, that is it.

But apply to set aside, show you dont owe it - thats all you need to do

Can I clarify anything else? Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Sorry, I don't understand what you said about "but not receiving Court documents." Is that a defence also?
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

No.

That is not. If you were served at the last known address that is what the rules (civi procedure rules part 6) requires.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I was never served with any court documents.
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Yes I understand that. But the fact you did not get them in itself is not a defence.

That is what I am saying. Focus on the defence to the claim, that is your strongest point.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ok I understand. But is E,on meant to make an effort to find me to let me see that they were intending to go to court.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
They found me when issuing the Notice of Enforcement. Why couldn't they find me to send me bills or court papers?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I am now having to pay £255 to get the judgment set aside. Can I claim that back from them?
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

No, Eon only need to serve at your last known residential address to them.

I dont know why they didnt trace you, but in law they are NOT required to do that.

You can ask the Court at the hearing that Eon pay the £255 - yes.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Is it right that the owner of a property is responsible for the electricity when it is empty? In this case it was empty from Dec 4 2014 to Sept 8 2015 (10 months), so it is strange that the bill being claimed is £650.02
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
By the way, E.On would not have had any address for me. I have never been their customer. So they must have just addressedi it to the owner - or maybe to 'the occupier' in which case no-one would have seen it because no-one was occupying.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I meant addressed the bills...
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

The owner yes, unless the tenancy agreement says otherwise.

Can I clarify anything else? Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I was not there. I did not use the electricity. I do not know how the amount of electricity could be used when no-one was living there. The only explanation is that the tenant gave a false reading when he left. Or that the estate agent turned everything on and left it on.
But if the owner is responsible, how can I show I do not owe it.
Will paying £255 and possibly other costs be just making my loss more.In these circumstances - if I decide to pay up - is there any action I can take to safeguard my credit rating?
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Yes I understand.

But all this does not matter at the moment because there is a Court Judgment.

You need to apply to set aside. If you dont set aside you are liable in full for the CCJ.

There is no action you can take to safeguard your credit file - there is a CCJ and it will be marked as satisfied.
Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
My point is that if the owner is responsible, surely the court will not set aside
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

If you didnt get the bills and if you never lived there then you are not responsible.

They should have sent the bill to YOU.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
But you said the owner is responsible if the flat is empty
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Yes. But they should have posted YOU the bills.

Landlord is responsible UNLESS the tenancy agreement says otherwise.

I am sure you informed Eon of your address if it was empty.

If you didnt then this is a problem for you and you need to pay them.

But that will be tax deductible.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I did not inform E.On because I did not know they were the electricity supplier. The tenant, who had been there for about 8 years, switched suppliers without telling me.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
It follows therefore that I did not inform them of my address. So does this mean I am liable?
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

No, because although technically as Landlord you are liable, the tenant switched and didnt tell them YOU were the Landlord.

So you probably would be liable for the bill, but not the Court costs etc.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Do you mean the £255 court costs, or the costs of the hearing already held, or both? Would the CCJ also be likely to be lifted if I paid then what technically I may be liable for?
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Both. You would only be liable for the actual bills. That is it.

If the CCJ is lifted then the whole thing is set aside and the process starts again.

Does that clarify? Alex

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you Alex. I will proceed to apply for the order to be set aside on the grounds they did not send me any bills, and that I did not live there at any time.
Expert:  Ash replied 6 months ago.

Sure. Then you need to complete form N244 as discussed.

If I could invite you to rate my answer before you go today please, otherwise the site does not credit me for the time spent with you today. Thanks and good luck. Alex

Ash, Solicitor
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
Ash and other Property Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Will do. Many thanks again.

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