Question

I bought a studio flat about 16 years ago but didn’t end up living there as I moved abroad due to work. I decided to keep my flat and rent it out as if I ever moved back to the UK I had somewhere to live.

Eon Energy company have sent me an email advising I owe them money for an overdue bill. They also informed me they sent the debt to a debt collection agency to chase me for the debt.

1. I have never contacted/ signed up/ contracted with this company, not sure why they say I owe them money.

2, If they sent the debt to the agency did they buy the debt from Eon? If so I never contracted with the debt agency to take on the debt so is it there debt no?

3, If I don’t pay the debt will I get a bad credit scoring?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

TIA
Gillian

Answer

Gillian,

Just a few questions to get a better perspective on your situation.

How much does the collection agency state you owe?

Can they give the dates for the charges?

Who was a tenant in the flat at the time in question?

Did you ever sign up with a gas or electricity company for the flat before you left, or even when you purchased the flat? If so, who was that company?

Did you or an estate agent let the flat out? If so, were the tenants responsible for the utilities, and did it state this in any tenancy agreements?

If you had signed up with a power provider, that would need to be changed when you had tenants move in. That would be their responsibility, but also yours to follow-up they had done so.

What it sounds like, and this is just speculation, more details from you will help, is that a tenant you had living in the flat, left the flat owing Eon money, and that Eon now in doing a search via the Council or Land Registry feels you owe this debt.

You can ask for proof you were the one indeed that was on the utility bill. And in addition, show proof you did not live there during the period on question. A copy of a tenancy agreement for your tenants, and also your proof of address will show this.

Debts and accounts are sold or assigned to collection agencies on a regular basis. This account may not have been bought by a collection agency, but assigned to be collected. And they then have the right to collect the account.

Yes, these accounts can be reported on your credit report, and hurt your credit score. However, I am confident if you contact the collection agency in question, explain and document what has happened, all will be fine.

If you can get back to me with more details, I can look into this further. You are not the first person this has happened to. Energy firms make errors all the time, and are always looking for a way to collect money on past accounts.

Regards,

Jon

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