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Landlord hasn't been passing on utility bills, possible late fees?

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475 views 1 replies latest reply: 08 March 2015


I moved into a house on 1st July 2014 and only last week did we receive an email from the landlord with a bill for utilities, which said there are overdue bills dating back to 1 September 2014. Having looked at the suppliers website (Glide) it says that there are late fees – £10 per bill, and although there is no mention of this on the bill we’re worried that these fees apply.

Although the landlord has now stopped replying to any texts and emails, it seems that he has been receiving the bills via email each month because he set the account up wrong and set it up so that he was liable for any bills, not his tenants. As a result, we haven’t been receiving any bills and therefore didn’t know how, when or to whom to pay them. 

I was wondering what the legal stance was on this and if there was any advice that could be given to help?

Thanks in advance 


Hi Emma

What does your tenancy agreement say about who is responsible for the bills? Although it sounds like the energy contract is between the utility company and the landlord – so it’s only him that they can pursue – if your tenancy agreement makes you responsible then you will owe the money to him as a result. Of course it’s all complicated by the fact that the bills are going through the landlord and the landlord is being so inefficient in passing them on.

I’d start by calling the utilities company and getting an account set up in your own name so that you have direct control over the bills and paying them going forward. Then settle the bill the landlord has sent you as it is, without adding on any late fees. 

If your tenancy says you are obliged to pay those bills then you should do that. However, if any late fees do appear at any point then question them. Although it’s arguable that you should have chased the utilities company yourself if the tenancy makes that your responsibility, if your agreement with the landlord was that they would do it then you have a good argument that the landlord should bear that cost for fees that arose as a result of not passing the bills on.


Ps we don’t offer legal advice so if you’re looking for something more official try the Citizens Advice Bureau or a Law Centre.

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