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Landlords pay your own municipal bills

31 Oct 2013

Landlords and managing agents of residential properties should keep control of water and electricity accounts and not allow these to be sent directly to the tenant. 

Landlords often insist on having the billing details of their water and electricity accounts changed into their tenant’s name to avoid what can be seen as a nuisance on their side.

This is according to Tony Clarke, Managing Director of the Rawson Property Group, who says landlords often insist on having the billing details of their water and electricity accounts changed into their tenant’s name to avoid what can be seen as a nuisance on their side. 

He believes this is a mistake as it takes the control away from the landlord and opens them up to a number of risks and possible fines for late payment. 

According to Clarke, if landlords do allow the municipality to send these accounts directly to the tenant there is a chance that the tenant will fall behind in his payments at some stage. “The landlord will probably not know about this and it could become a serious issue because ultimately the landlord is responsible for all of these payments, even if the account is no longer in his name.” 

These days, Clarke says almost all municipalities and other service providers are able to send accounts via email, making the process a lot less complicated and this has gone a long way to help solving what was becoming a difficult, non-payment problem. 

He says many of the problems on the electrical side are being overcome by the installation of prepaid electricity boxes but where this is not the case, the landlord must receive all the accounts and then pass them onto his tenant himself, seeing to it that these are paid.  

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