Ask an Property Solicitor. Get an Answer ASAP.
Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.
I am very sorry to read of the above and I imagine what a difficult position it must be. I will certainly try to clarify your options.
May I confirm what the "outstanding payment" relates to please? Does it relate to charges that they are seeking for a period earlier than 12 months from the date the submitted their invoice?
I'm following up on the above. Without some further information from you as above, I am limited in what I can say on the matter but in the hope it is helpful nonetheless, I will provide you with the following broad answer. If you are able to kindly provide me with the above further information or if you have any further questions generally, I will be delighted to expand on the following - please just reply back to me in this case:
Notwithstanding the above, in general terms if the electric charges relate to a period more than 12 months before the date the invoice was raised, you should be able to avoid liability in respect of such charges for such period under the energy back billing code which precludes energy companies charging residential customers more than 12 months worth of electricity at the date of the particular invoice unless they can show that the customer has impeded metre readings actively or otherwise acted in bad faith
I hope the above is of some assistance but if you have any further questions, please revert to me
My apologies for the delay in reverting to you over the long weekend. You can ask them to explain any bill you are struggling to understand. The bill should show you the meter readings they are using to calculate their charges which you can compare against the last bill (if you have a previous bill you paid) and the current meter reading.
Generally the courts will not award monies for wasted time. Ombudsman services are more willing to make awards for wasted time. I am not in a position to advise you in relation to how to conduct your defence. In the main, in order to defend the claim you will need to show why you do not believe you owe the monies claimed. You could also consider using the Energy Ombudsman and asking the court to adjourn the claim pending determination by the Ombudsman under ADR (alternative dispute resolution). to make a counterclaim you will have to show why you have a claim against the energy provider. As above, generally in the courts, you cannot claim for your time per se.
You can ask the court to strike out the claim though this may be adventurous. Strike out requires you to show that the claimants claim has no merit whatsoever. Whilst you have legitimate criticisms of the claimants claim, I am not certain you can show no merit whatsoever as it seems there may at least be the basis of a claim albeit questions as regards ***** *****