Social landlords, void properties and utility bills
Is it fair that if a property becomes void and the previous tenant has run up utility bills, but can’t be tracked, that the landlord becomes responsible?
Yes, between lets when a property is empty, the landlord is responsible for the utility costs, but of course if the utilities are barely used then those charges will be very low. However, if someone has run up bills and absconded, then not only does the landlord have to pay for utility costs that they didn’t use, their credit rating will also be impacted.
Ultimately, there are ways of disputing this amount, but as you’ll see through the media etc. disputing with suppliers is tough as they will have very good legal teams (not counting all of the admin involved). Many people may just pay it as it seems easier.
It can be very difficult to challenge utility companies if this happens. If you find yourself in this situation, the best option is to discuss the details with an independent energy consultancy. The sooner you do this, the more chance you have of resolving it.
Have you had experience of having to pay for utility costs run up by a tenant?