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Ross Miller
Ross Miller,
Category: Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 2213
Experience:  Director (Litigation and Mediation) at Hilltop Solutions
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Where to begin! In a nutshell back in 2018 we received a

Customer Question

Hi, where to begin! In a nutshell back in 2018 we received a huge bill from British Gas for unpaid electricity dating back to 2013, when we moved into our property. The reason we hadn't paid any invoices is that we hadn't received any invoiced and our landlord stated (within an email which I have) that they were responsible for all the utilities even though our lease stated we were). The property was then sold in 2015 and we had a new landlord and property management company (PMC) to deal with. British Gas claim that they sent the PMC invoices and it was only in 2018 when the debt was mounting they chase PMC and the PMC said that we were responsible? I feel we have a case for back billing, BG are clearly incompetent and any advice you could give me would be hugely appreciated. Kind regards Joe
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this? In which country do you live? If different, which country is your legal question related to?
Customer: No and in the UK.
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: Spoken to a friend who works in a legal department for a communication company.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 6 days ago.
Category: Property Law
Expert:  Ross Miller replied 6 days ago.

Hello I will be the expert assisting you with this matter today.

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Thank you

Expert:  Ross Miller replied 6 days ago.

Thank you for your question. So really this comes down to a matter of liability. The most important first step is to keep the lines of communication open at all times with the creditor. The difficulty you have is that your lease agreement states that you are liable for the charges. However, if you have an email from the landlord stating that they are responsible then this could potentially overwrite the lease (it will possibly come down to the dates you received the message and signed the lease). However, what you will want to do is show any and all evidence you have to the creditor to show that the landlord and not you, is responsible for the debt. If the creditor does not accept this and decides to take you to court for the the fees then obviously your defence would be that the landlord is liable. If that is the case then you would want to ask the court to add the old landlord as a respondent to the claim. However, if this is not possible and you have to paid the debt then you could raise your own separate action against the original landlord. However, this is all way down the line, what you will want to do prior to looking at any of this is speak with the energy provider and show them why you are not liable for the costs they are claiming. If it ends up in a claim then I will provide you with a link to hire local representation. You could also enlist the help of the Citizens Advice Bureau at this point to write a letter to them and/or speak to them on your behalf to try and have the matter resolved at this point.

I hope this information has helped. You can find a local solicitor who deals with this on the law society webpage which is;

https://solicitors.lawsociety.org.uk/

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Many Thanks