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Student Tenancy

(20 Posts)
SlaughteredChicken Mon 30-Nov-15 19:31:27

My son is at University in Scotland and currently rents, with a friend, from a private landlord. The previous tenant left an outstanding gas bill of £300+ with Scottish Gas. My son opened an account with a different supplier using the opening meter reading and has been paying his bills. Scottish Gas have been chasing him for the previous tenant's debt.

My son had provided the landlord's details several times and has even been told by SG that they won't bother him again. Now he has received notice that they'll terminate his supply on Monday (7th) if the debt is not paid.

I'm hoping that someone can help me to understand:
1. How can a company that is not currently the supplier cut off his supply, and
2. What are the landlord's legal obligations in this situation?

The landlord has said he's dealing with it but we've heard that for the last 4 months. I need to be able to support my son if the gas supply is cut off.

Thanks for any advice!

holidaysarenice Mon 30-Nov-15 19:35:25

I would be under the impression it was nothing to do with the landlord or your son. I assume he wasn't a tenant at that stage?

SlaughteredChicken Mon 30-Nov-15 19:41:06

No he wasn't but that isn't stopping SG from shutting off the supply. That's why I need advice.

I'd assume the landlord should have a forwarding address or at least with old the ex-tenant's deposit until all bills were paid?

SlaughteredChicken Mon 30-Nov-15 19:42:25

*withhold

caroldecker Mon 30-Nov-15 19:58:50

Legally they cannot, physically if you have a smart meter or an outside meter it is possible.
If the meter is inside the house, they need a warrant to get in, so will have to go to court - your son can attend, explain the situation and the warrant will not be issued.

Epilepsyhelp Mon 30-Nov-15 20:00:48

They can try but they'll realise they don't supply! He should ring his current provider just to confirm that SG can't affect his supply.

FreeWorker1 Mon 30-Nov-15 20:05:21

Is it even SG who are contacting him?

Could it be a debt collection agency making threats? Sometimes people pay the bill out of fear of being cut off in winter and the collection agency don't care as long as the bill is paid.

They haven't got a leg to stand on. The new supplier has control over the account not SG.

FreeWorker1 Mon 30-Nov-15 20:08:33

Incidentally, I had exactly this situation in England when I rented a flat.

I contacted my supplier who contacted the previous supplier (who had not been paid by the previous tenants) and the letters and threats stopped.

SlaughteredChicken Mon 30-Nov-15 20:46:20

Thank you so much for your input everyone. He's going to contact his supplier to get some more support as suggested.

I had always thought that whilst bailiffs aren't allowed forced entrance, utilities were.

Really appreciate your input smile

caroldecker Mon 30-Nov-15 21:42:41

Gas can force entry if they believe a gas leak is in progress to stop that, but not otherwise.

AnneElliott Mon 30-Nov-15 21:46:02

My brother had this with British Gas. His flat doesn't even have gas, so it would have been interesting for them to try and cut it off! Try emailing the CEO or head of customer services.

AnthonyBlanche Mon 30-Nov-15 21:54:12

Write Scottish gas a very stroppy letter of complaint (put complaint in the heading as this will get their attention) setting out all the facts and telling them that if your son hears from them again he will be contacting the energy regulator.

AnthonyBlanche Mon 30-Nov-15 21:57:31

p.s. We don't have bailiffs in Scotland!

holidaysarenice Tue 01-Dec-15 02:12:28

Yes Anthony we do! I've had them at the door for the people before us!

AnthonyBlanche Tue 01-Dec-15 20:04:10

holiday we definitely don't have bailiffs in Scotland. There are sheriff officers, but they are not the same as bailiffs.

caroldecker Tue 01-Dec-15 20:22:02

Anthony in layman's terms what's the difference - there is none as far as i can see

cdtaylornats Wed 02-Dec-15 08:22:24

He should talk to his Student Union, they retain lawyers who can advise him.

AnthonyBlanche Thu 03-Dec-15 23:26:23

OP your son (or perhaps you could draft it) just needs to write a very stroppy complaint letter. I recently had Scottish Gas billing me for someone else's electricity. All stopped the minute I wrote a letter of complaint threatening to report them to Ofgen if they didn't sort it out.

SlaughteredChicken Wed 09-Dec-15 09:56:36

Thanks everyone for your advice. I went up to see him on Monday to make sure everything was OK. I had it the wrong way around - they had moved to Scottish Gas from E-on and it was E-on chasing them.

Anyway, the engineer from E-on turned up and changed their meter over to a pre-pay one with £6 credit on. My son showed the engineer the bills that they had been paying and the engineer clocked that, although SG had the correct address, they were billing for a different meter. Therefore, E-on had been supplying them with gas all along and they were paying for someone else's!

All being taken care of now - SG have admitted it's their mistake. E-on will replace the meter again once it's all sorted. My son's landlord has been a great support, even providing a new word for this (catastrafuck), which has endeared him greatly to my son hmm Even one of the tutors has got involved and is making sure that all is sorted properly.

I really appreciate your input - I had no-one in RL to get any advice from, so you helped a lot flowers

Fuckitfay Sun 20-Dec-15 07:54:50

Glad the catastrafuck is sorted grin

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