One of the perils of being a landlord is that sometimes tenants move on without settling their utility bills. Since a tenant is responsible for paying the bills at a rental property (unless it says otherwise in the tenancy agreement), utility companies shouldn’t harass the landlord for the money. But when
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Barry Payling’s tenants moved out of his rental property owing £450 on their electricity bill, Npower started a persistent campaign of harassment against him.
Landlord Fights Back Mr Payling, sick of being repeatedly harassed for the outstanding bill, decided to take Npower to court. He had spent hours on the telephone trying to make the energy giant understand that the bill wasn’t his responsibility, but when demands from debt collectors began to arrive, he summonsed them to the Sheriffs Office. Because no representatives from Npower showed up on the day, Mr Payling automatically won his case and Npower paid him £450 in compensation.
Compensation Claim for Loss of Earnings However, a further letter demanding money together with a court date triggered another fight. Mr Payling was forced to take a day off work to attend a court case that was subsequently cancelled by Npower (who didn’t bother telling Mr Payling). He was furious, so he summonsed them for £2,500 to compensate for stress and loss of earnings. Once again Npower didn’t show up in court and Mr Payling won his case. This time, however, they didn’t pay up so Mr Payling instructed enforcement officers to go to Npower’s head offices to claim the money owed, which was very embarrassing for them.
As Mr Payling says: “There is nothing a bully hates more than being bullied back.”