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What are the implications of setting up a utility account in someone else's name at my address?

(15 Posts)
IlanaK Fri 06-Nov-09 21:18:18

I know this is an odd question. Here is the situation. We are moving house. My dad, who lives abroad, has asked me to set up one of the utilities at our new address in his name. His reason for asking us is that he regularly visist the UK and no longer has a permanent address here so when he tries to do things like get mobile phone contracts, it is a nightmare. Last time he was here, I ended up having to put his mobile contract in my name. He has a British passport and a UK bank account, but that isn't enough.

So, I really don't want to do this, but feel that I should do him this favour as he has done favours for me financially. However, I want the full facts before I decide.

What are the implications of me doing this? What come back could there be for me?

theyoungvisiter Fri 06-Nov-09 21:21:50

Well I'm not an expert but the only obvious one I can think of is that if you have a problem with the utility, the might refuse to deal with you, as they are supposed to speak to the account holder.

You'd have to be prepared to pretend to be your Dad's spouse or something.

And obviously from your Dad's POV, if he is offering this as proof that he's living at an address, I guess it's a type of fraud as he's not living at that address.

Out of interest, why doesn't he just get a sim card for his phone? Anyone can get that - UK citizen or not.

oranges Fri 06-Nov-09 21:23:32

could you put in both your names, so you can deal with the utilities company too? I can see that it may get tricky otherwise to untangle any problems.

theyoungvisiter Fri 06-Nov-09 21:24:47

Oh, also if your Dad uses your address for credit purposes, I wonder if it might affect your credit worthiness, especially if you share the same surname?

But as I say, not an expert so perhaps someone else will come along with the official line.

LoveBeingAMummy Fri 06-Nov-09 21:29:18

He will be using the bills/letters as proof of his address, which it is not and therefore fraud possibly. Depnding on what he wants to use it for would depend on whether it would be enough, as somethings will as for more than one.

The full facts depend on why your father wants to do this.

cleanandclothed Fri 06-Nov-09 21:32:20

Well, once someone has a passport and a utility bill then that is all the information they need to give to satisfy 'anti-money laundering checks' so they will be able to get credit cards, mobile phones, open bank account etc etc. They will also have a financial link with your address. The obvious risks are a)it is fraud (I think) as theyoungvisiter says, and also that if he does get more (eg credit cards) which he could do without you noticing as he could then change the address straight away, they may still come knocking at your door if he defaults.

I wouldn't advise it. I would ask exactly what it is for and then try to find a way round that.

theyoungvisiter Fri 06-Nov-09 21:38:19

I have to say, I find it odd that he needs to do this.

Lots of people live primarily abroad with no UK address and they seem to manage ok.

It would be better to find a solution to his difficulties without having to commit what is, after all, basically fraud.

For eg as I mentioned below, you can buy a pay-as-you-go mobile sim for a fiver off the peg, top it up and bingo, working UK phone and no need for any ID at all. Why did he need a contract?

I can see it's a tricky one as you don't want to be seen to be mistrusting your dad and this probably seems like a simple solution to him. Maybe cite the difficulty of dealing with the utility in cases of problems (often they won't ALLOW you to have more than one name on the account) and offer help with being a guarantor on other stuff?

IlanaK Fri 06-Nov-09 21:43:34

Ok, I probably should have added that he has loads of money so this is not about getting credit. When I had to put his last mobile phone contract in my name, we were both laughing at how ridiculous it was that we were standing in carphone wharehouse with his UK bank account statement which showed a bank balance of way more money that I could hope to ever have and they wouldn't open an account for him.

He does not want a pay as you go mobile. He likes the latest phone, gadget etc with full internet access and always gets a contract phone. I think he also has used my address previously for registering with a GP. As far as I know, that is it - I can't think what else he would be using it for.

All his bank statements get sent to my address anyway.

theyoungvisiter Fri 06-Nov-09 21:48:17

Well sorry to say but I think that's fraud in itself - if he's not a UK resident he's not entitled to register with an NHS GP.

IlanaK Fri 06-Nov-09 21:53:31

I agree. And I am uncomfortable with it. But he is my dad.

theyoungvisiter Fri 06-Nov-09 21:55:05

For more information see here

He's probably entitled to some healthcare paid for by the UK, but if he's no longer a UK resident he's not entitled to be registered with a GP so his use of your address is fraudulant I'm afraid.

theyoungvisiter Fri 06-Nov-09 21:58:30

Sorry - x-posted with your last.

I don't know what you say. You're letting him commit fraud using your address, that's the bottom line.

I doubt there would be any legal comeback for you but I honestly don't know.

IlanaK Fri 06-Nov-09 22:05:00

Thanks. That link is interesting. As far as I know, he gets a UK pension so he is eligble for NHS treatment according to that link.

theyoungvisiter Fri 06-Nov-09 22:07:02

No, he's not entitled to NHS treatment, he's entitled for treatment in his country of residence (ie wherever he lives abroad) paid for by the UK.

He's not entitled to healthcare in the UK itself. That's the difference.

IlanaK Fri 06-Nov-09 22:12:25

Oh, sorry. I read it wrong. Thanks.

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