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Chased for old water bill in someone else's name

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  • Chased for old water bill in someone else's name

    Hi all,

    Many years ago I lived in a shared house. I was young and naÔve and didnít understand about bills. One of my housemates (J, who was paying the water bill) moved out, circa July 2015 and I started paying the water bill which remained in her name.

    Then in March 2016 I had to move out suddenly due to one of my housemates threatening the other. I paid the final bill for March, then at some point left the key behind.

    For the next three years, I received calls from debt collectors chasing another housemate for the electricity bill (which I had been paying but had been in previous housemateís name (M) as well). I received a couple of calls about the water bill and then nothing. It looked as though the people who remained in the house were using the power and not paying.

    Finally, I called the electricity company in 2019 and explained the situation. They were nice about it and took me off their system, but said I needed to contact either the landlord of the M to sort things finally. I did so and then the calls stopped. I had heard nothing about the water bill since 2016 at this stage and assumed that they had got in contact with J and straightened it all out. I moved on with my life.

    Then, in September of this year, I was emailed by BW Legal looking for J. It looks like not only has the situation not been resolved but the water company has sold the debt to JC International Acquisitions.

    I tried to get hold J but messaged instead of calling and she seems to have ghosted me. Finally, I called BW Legal, said that they had contacted me but I wasnít her (without giving any more details) and they took me off their system.

    Since then, Iím wondering if I did the right thing, morally and legally. I donít think I owe this money as it was run up in a period when I lived somewhere else, but I donít think the person on the bill does either. Iím also worried about her getting a judgment and turning around and trying to sue me, as I have admitted in my message to her to paying the bills while they were in her name.

    Am I liable for this bill? If so, Iíd rather just pay it now and have done with it.
    If not, and I get sued by J, how do I defend myself?

    Am I obliged to give BW Legal the Jís name/details?

    Alternatively, am I obliged to explain the situation to BW Legal/JC International Acquisitions? To be honest, Iíd rather they go after the people who were in the house at the time (they were the ones who ran up the debt) than J.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by DonnysBrook; 11th December 2022, 21:43:PM. Reason: Edited slightly for clarity.
    Tags: None

  • #2
    I got lost and confused at "I tried to get hold of the person whose J".

    That said, it is difficult to see how you can be liable.

    You can, of course, speak to the others concerned to let them know.
    Lawyer (solicitor) - retired from practice, now in academia. I do not advise by PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      I fail to see how you can be liable. Tell the Council that they are writing to the wrong person.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by atticus View Post
        I got lost and confused at "I tried to get hold of the person whose J".

        That said, it is difficult to see how you can be liable.

        You can, of course, speak to the others concerned to let them know.
        Apologies, I appreciate that was long winded: basically, I was a water bill that was in a previous tenant's name. I moved out without telling the water company and I think that the people who were in the house after me have run up a debt in her name. I was chased recently by BW Legal who were looking for her, but told them I wasn't her. I've tried to give her a heads up about this but she's ignored me.

        I was wondering if I am liable?

        Comment

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