Imagine this scenario: your tenant has left your rental property and you found out that they have left without paying the bills.
When faced with this kind of situation, don’t worry. There are ways to handle it:
Contact the utility provider
The landlord is not responsible for the bills between the dates the tenant occupied the property, so make sure you have evidence of this to give to the utility provider. Get in touch with the utility companies and provide them with old tenant’s current and up-to-date details so they can chase for payment, such as:
- Final meter readings
- Date your tenant moved out, and
- Forwarding information (address, phone number) of the tenant, along with any guarantor details would also be useful.
Note: Make sure you have secured permission from your old tenant allowing you to give their information to a third party. Otherwise, you may be in breach of data protection legislation.
What if your tenant hasn’t informed the utility provider that they have moved in?
In this scenario, you will discover that you are named on the utility bill. This is where good documentation is essential. To prove that the tenant was residing in your rental property, the utility provider may request you provide a tenancy agreement and often a bank statement. So make sure you have a clause in your tenancy agreement clearly indicating that the tenant is responsible for council tax and utility bills.
Who is responsible for bills when the rental property becomes empty?
The landlord is liable for utility bills and council tax once the fixed term of the tenancy agreement is reached and the property becomes empty. If it was agreed the tenants could leave early, the landlord should have written confirmation proving this. When a new tenant moves in and occupies the rental property, they will then become responsible for the bills.
Under our services, we will discuss with you the steps to enforce the terms of the Tenancy Agreement in the event of difficulty. However, we are pleased to say that the vast majority of lettings we manage are uneventful and trouble-free.
KeyRing Lettings is 100% dedicated to lettings and aim to give the highest level of service possible for landlords and tenants throughout the Mendip area. Contact us to find out more about our services.