Jump to content

If a tenant leaves unpaid bills is the landlord responsible?


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 than4

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.

#2 Frankly my Dear

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.

#3 vitaechel

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.


#4 Frankly my Dear

Posted 10 January 2013 - 07:14 AM

Oh, just re read. Who's name is electric bill in?

#5 casime

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.

#6 than4

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.

#7 CountryFeral

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.



#8 elmo_mum

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...

#9 **Anna**

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.

#10 emnut

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.

#11 sandgropergirl

Posted 10 January 2013 - 04:20 PM

I'm nt surprised you don't approve. Your FIL is a douche.

#12 Ninja Lemur

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.

#13 Holidayromp

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.

#14 Daisy Goat

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.

#15 The Old Feral

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.

#16 42n8

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

 

A mum's tragic battle against inflammatory breast cancer

At just 37 years of age, with two young sons, Vicki was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. Now her family wants all women to know the symptoms.

The business of babies around the world

Pregnancy and birth is an intriguing process no matter where you are in the world. One soon-to-be father gleans wisdom from a new guide.

Finding a positive path through IVF

It’s not surprising that IVF is often seen as a negative journey towards the ultimate positive, but having a glass-half-full approach can make a big difference to the experience.

Giving strangers the gift of parenthood

A mum explains why she and her husband are choosing to gift their leftover embryos to help strangers achieve their dream of parenthood.

Does morning sickness get better or worse with each child?

Just as every baby is unique, so is every pregnancy. And that means morning sickness can vary a lot, too.

What's so wrong with looking 'mumsy', anyway?

Why is it that the word ‘mumsy’ has connotations of such a negative nature – but seems to be the only other option apart from ‘yummy’?

Trying to speed up the inevitable

As the waiting game of late pregnancy continues, this mum considers a few things that might hurry things up a little.

One month later: where is William Tyrell?

It has been a little over a month since William Tyrell disappeared from his grandmother's home, 33 long sleepless nights for his family as they mourn the absence of their cheeky young boy.

Winter's child less likely to be moody: study

Babies born in the summer are much more likely to suffer from mood swings when they grow up, while those born in the winter are less likely to become irritable adults, scientists claim.

Single mum of two creates award-winning baby app

Suddenly single with a baby and an 11-year-old son, Tara O?Connell developed an app to improve the lives of mothers who were similarly overwhelmed.

Food for thought: looking after yourself as a new mum

As soon as your baby enters the world, everything else takes a back seat - even the necessities of daily life such as eating are severely compromised, right when you need energy the most.

'Grabbable guts' campaign aims to cut toxic fat

The Live Lighter campaign will take people inside the human body to show the internal dangers of being overweight.

The best and worst month of my life

A new mum's first month of motherhood didn't pan out as expected when she lost a family member weeks after her baby's birth.

Facebook and Apple offer to pay female staff to freeze their eggs

Facebook and Apple are hoping to provide women with the freedom to build their careers without the added pressure of having children at or by a certain age.

How a pregnancy contract could work for you and your partner

The idea of making a 'pregnancy contract' with your partner may sound a bit silly at first, but it can help make the transition to parenthood a lot smoother.

Finding a mum-friendly personal trainer

Burping babies vs burpees – yes, new mums and personal trainers live in different worlds. But they can work together - once you find the right match for you and your lifestyle.

Alleged baby snatch incident a ?misunderstanding?, say police

Police say that an incident in which a man pulled on a woman?s pram while walking a popular Sydney route late last month was a misunderstanding.

Ebola killed my aunt and is shutting down my country

Three weeks ago, my auntie, a midwife, developed a fever. Sitting here in Sydney basked in Australian sunshine, that shouldn't be big news.

The night my ovary burst

One mum shares her frightening experience and vows to never take her health for granted again.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Win 1 of 5 Canon Powershot D30 cameras

Capture life more easily with the Canon Powershot D30. Shockproof, waterproof and dustproof, you can take it almost anywhere and shoot beautiful images, time after time. Enter now!

16 parenting truths you won't find in the baby books

I am five years into this parenting gig and I’ve learnt that sleepless nights and changing dirty nappies are child’s play.

Best and worst potty party cakes

It's nice to celebrate a child making the shift from nappies to 'big kid' undies, but do we really need a semi-realistic used toilet cake to do it? Here are some of the best and worst cakes parents have used at 'potty parties' around the world.

7 tips for a financially festive Christmas

Plan ahead - and do it now - to ensure festive season expenses don't break the bank.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Great birthday party buys from Etsy

Handmade crafts to decorate and personalise your child's next birthday - from banners to cake decorations, we've got gorgeous party finds from Etsy.

Creative storage ideas for the kids' rooms

Creative and practical storage ideas for the kids' toys and books can also add some stylish decor to your home. Visit babyology.com.au for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.

The 'yucky' illness that took over my life

I have a chronic illness nobody likes to discuss, as it involves toilet talk. But it needs to be talked about.

To the mum in the doctor's waiting room

Maybe the mum I saw in that waiting room, seemingly disconnected from her baby, doesn’t have the support she needs.

10 space-saving nursery ideas

Starting a family doesn't always mean moving into a bigger house - not yet, anyway.

 

What's in a name?

Baby Names

Looking for a classic name, or an unusual name? Our Baby Name Finder is for you, search or browse to refine your shortlist.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.