Question

Implied Terms in Tenancy Agreements (Wales) | Record Keeping and Data Protection (Wales) | Utilities (Wales)

Data Protection and tenancy agreement to utility company

9 Feb 2017 | 1 comment

Five tenants, on joint tenancy had agreement signed till last day of June 2016. They were responsible for electricity bill paying and had their own contract with the utility provider. Unknown to me they called the utility provider and said they had moved out on the 10th June and then gave my details as the person responsible for paying the bill from that date on. They had paid rent till the last day of June. I visited the house on the 26th June and then emailed them to recommend a lot more cleaning be done as they appeared to have moved out their belongings, leaving behind rubbish. On my return the 1st July the house was spotless and I emailed both the new tenants and the ones that had vacated, the meter readings. Recently the electricity company issued me with a bill for several hundred pounds for the period 10th June to the last day of June. This is extremely high and is either a mistake on the part of the utility company or the tenants gave a false reading to them on the 10th. The utility company tell me the bill continues to be mine unless I can give them a copy of the tenancy agreement. There is no clause in the agreement that states I can pass the contract on to anyone. Can I just send this contract to the utility company anyway?

Answer

1 Comment

  1. guildy

    If you used our application form before they originally moved in, that also contains a disclaimer that would cover you even if the tenancy doesn’t.

    If there is a breach in passing the tenancy without authorisation, it’s a very minor breach because the tenancy doesn’t really contain any information that the energy company doesn’t already know. In fact, the only part we can think of would be the rent presumably!

    It should be noted it’s not necessarily the passing of data that’s the crime (we pass sensitive data all the time when doing credit checks for example). It’s the storing and passing data without being registered that’s the crime. All businesses (including landlords) must be registered with the Information Commissioners Office if they store any information on any electronic device including a smartphone.

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