Jump to content
If a tenant leaves unpaid bills is the landlord responsible?
15 replies to this topic
Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:08 AM
DH and his parents have an investment property. I try not to get involved as I don't really approve of the way FIL has chosen to manage it, but DH gets very stressed about it so I said I would post here.
One of the tenants has contacted him and said that other tenants have not given her money for the electricity bill so she is not going to pay it. She has also given notice to move out, citing issues with bills and similar with this other tenant.
DH is worried about what happens if the electricity gets cut off because this tenant hasn't paid the bill. Does the debt stay with her and the other tenants can reconnect the electricity? Or is the debt with the house and the landlord is responsible? They don't collect money for bills with the rent - it is the tenants responsibility - so they can't withhold money from the bond for the unpaid bills.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
ETA: Should probably say that they rent the house out by the room as FIL likes the fact that they get substantially more money doing this than renting it out as a whole.
Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:13 AM
The debt will stay with the ex-tenants I believe. But if it gets disconnected it may be a PITA to get re-reconnected.
Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:13 AM
If the bills are in the tenants name then the tenant is responsible for the debt. If bills are in landlords name... they will end up paying. Most rentals have bills in tenants name for exactly that reason.
Next tenant will connect in their own name I assume, so they won't have any issues there.
Edited by vitaechel, 10 January 2013 - 07:14 AM.
Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:14 AM
The bill will stay with whoever the name of the bill is in. So if one tenant only has her name on the electricity account, then she is solely responsible for that bill and it will stay with her and end up with a debt collection agency. A new tenant can move in and apply for an electricity account in their own name. Happened to me on a place I rented years ago. I had debt collectors show up looking for the old tenants to pay the bill, but once I showed them a copy of my lease they went away.
Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:19 AM
Thanks for the quick replies.
The bill is in the name (solely) of the tenant. She is young and I don't think she realises that the debt will stay with her. She is just trying to prove a point to the other tenants so she gets her money.
This is why I try not to get involved. It comes down to the fact that these two tenants don't get on and can't seem to work it out. Both have raised issues with DH which are not acceptable (one not paying bills and the other leaving the keys outside for her boyfriend to let himself into the house) so short of kicking them both out they just have to learn to be adults and resolve it amongst themselves.
Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:22 AM
They need to get PAYG (Pay As You Go) electricity installed is my suggestion.
Also renting by the room?
That to me sounds more like a hostel/boarding house set up than a domestic house and should in my opinion INCLUDE the bills. It is (as you have just seen) too difficult to divide things like that up with the type of transient renter who is attracted to renting 'just a room'.
The bill is in the tenant's name so the debt is also in the tenants name.
Your PILs have made this far more complicated than it needs be though.
Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:22 AM
whose name is the bill in?
if it is in your fil name, then if the tenants choose not to pay, it is his responsibility as he is the one named on the bill
if it is in the tenants name, then he has no legal responsibility in relation to who pays what and when. if they choose not to pay and they get ot cut off, thats their bad luck
the next person to connect will have no probs, as they are not the original people named...
Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:25 AM
The fact it is being let out room by room rather than as a whole makes it tricky. I think it is really unfair if she isn't able to choose the person she is living with and even more unfair if age is made responsible for their bills. If she chose that person to live with however and the rent I'd set up differently that is different.
Posted 10 January 2013 - 03:59 PM
if he wants to rent the house out by the room then he needs to have the electricity in his name and charge an amount for rent including utilities so by doing it the way he has it is his mismanagement that has caused the situation.
It is not fair for other tenants to need to chase each other for money for bills when it is the landlord's dodgy dhoice to rent the house that way.
Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:20 PM
I'm nt surprised you don't approve. Your FIL is a douche.
Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:25 PM
Sounds like a mess and your DH really needs to check with the relevant authority whether they are renting the place out legally. It sounds Your FIL is confused as to whether they are letting it as a boarding house type set up or just a standard residential lease. Your DH doesn't want it to come back and bite him.
Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:27 PM
I hope that he ends up having to pay the bill. He sounds dodgy and eager to make a quick buck by renting out the rooms rather than the place as a whole.
Even though it is done this way and can make the LL alot of money it can cause alot of headaches too so I hope that this time it will turn around and bite him the a*se.
Also I am with the pps he should be paying all electricity and utilities doing it this way.
Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:30 PM
Ugghhh there are a large number of houses rented out room by room around this area due or the location of the Uni. It is a money grabbing concept by greedy landlords who overcharge to desperate students.
If your FIL is going to be so greedy he needs to charge a premium amount for each room and cover all amenities himself.
Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:33 PM
If she leaves and the power is cut off, who's going to set up a new account in their name? I sure as hell wouldn't agree to be responsible for a bunch of strangers. Your FIL might find that the other tenants move out too, and/or he can't re-let the empty room.
I agree with the others - he should provide power in a boarding house situation.
Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:37 PM
Sounds like an illegal boarding house to me and if push comes to shove, that will invalidate the lease the tenants signed too.
The tenants who's names is on the supply agreement with the power company is responsible for any debt with that company. However, if she's smart, she could take the landlord's to the tenancy tribunal for compensation for not legally renting the property to her (ie: being forced to provide power to the whole house when she was only renting 'a room' and non-compliance with boarding house safety requirements.
You're right to stay right out of it.
1 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users
Everyone loves a personalised Christmas present - especially those which have been lovingly created by little hands. These Christmas gifts are so easy that even your toddler will be able to make them.
Our friends at The Sun-Herald are giving you the chance to win a family pass to Taronga Zoo Sydney or Taronga Western Plains Zoo.
I?m not ready for my son to stop believing in Santa yet. But should I treat him like the intelligent and sensible boy that he is and tell the truth, or should I lie, with the good intentions of keeping the magic alive for just a little longer?
More than half a million lights, countless hours of work, a world record - and it's all for a good cause.
Doctors made a shocking discovery when they found a dandelion growing inside 16-month-old?s ear canal.
Introducing the new campaign to help mums and babies around Australia.
Despite safety campaigns by organisations such as Kidsafe, the number of children dying and being injured in driveway accidents has remained steady. One mother shares her story of loss and warns others to pay attention.
Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.
Fitness blogger and football wife Caroline Berg Eriksen has come under fire for posting a photo of her amazing post-baby body on Instrgram just four days after giving birth. She has defended the picture saying she is "proud" of what her body has achieved.
A pregnant woman had her baby taken by British social workers after a forced caesarean section - and the child has still not been returned to her.
When kids want something, they'll ask ... and ask ... and ask ... until you cave in. You can teach them to unlearn this annoying tactic by saying just three words.
Babies love getting their little gums around keys - but these ones are cleaner and more fun than the set on your key ring.
Top 5 Articles
Win one of 9 LEGO® DUPLO® Planes? ?Skippers? Flight School set for Christmas. Enter here for your chance to win.
Join Essential Baby and Aldi in celebrating Chrismas, with gift guides, the truth about Santa and how to manage christmas while pregnant + lots more.
Breaking Bad, The Great Gatsby and Game of Thrones are all inspiring baby names in the UK this year ? but royal names are on the decline.
To celebrate the launch of this gorgeous new baby skincare range, Essential Baby is giving our readers the chance to win one of ten Little Bairn Essentials Gift Packs.
For a limited time you can save 50% off when you gift unlimited access to The Age or SMH. It's the gift for those you love, who love to know.
Weird poses, surprise photobombs, bizarre editing: these are the wedding photos that should have never seen the light of day.
Here's a selection of vintage boys and girls monikers which have traditionally been used as either nicknames or given names, from the 1880s through to the 1950s.
Free Printable Activities
Free printable acitivity pages like colouring in, cutting, word finders, mazes, maths activities and puzzles.