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Thomas, Lawyer
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 7611
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Type your question here. I agreed to stand Guarantor for my

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Type your question here. I agreed to stand Guarantor for my son in an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement. The Letting Agent/Landlord insisted that I be a named Tenant within the agreement to 'pass the necessary credit checks'. Despite the fact that they knew my son was to be the Occupier of the property rather than myself, his name did not appear within the Agreement. Unfortunately I did not find out about this until 'after the event' as I had authorised my son to sign the agreement on my behalf (to ensure my grandchildren were not homeless). After the 18 month agreement ended, I received a demand from EDF for unpaid gas/electricity charges on the basis of my liability through the 'third party' Tenancy Agreement. Although no contract exists between EDF and myself, current utility legislation states that a contract is deemed to have been created once the Owner or Occupier has consumed gas/electricity'. Does this give me grounds to challenge the enforceability of the agreement on the basis of an 'Incomplete Contract' either my 'Misrepresentation' or 'Mistake' e.g. I certainly did not appreciate that a liability could be established without a formal contract/agreement being in place?


Have you told them that you did not occupy the property or consume the electricity? If so, what did they say?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes. They said that it did not matter as I was effectively liable under the terms of the tenancy agreement



Hi John,

The fact that you were named as tenant on the tenancy agreement does not in and of itself give the supplier the right to sue you. The contract is between you and the named landlord and the supplier does not have any privity of contract in relation to this agreement. This basically means that they could not simply produced the tenancy agreement as proof of a contractual obligation to them.

Ultimately, the liability falls with the person who has consumed the electricity. This is not you of course, but the problem is that you have been named on the tenancy agreement. In the future I would ignore most of what agency to be honest. They are not there to represent you, they are there to represent the landlord. If you were not to occupy the property then you should not have been named as a tenant. The reference do credit cheques is a complete red herring

The problem is that the electricity supplier may attempt to sue you and use the tenancy agreement as proof of occupation and therefore consumption. You will have to produce what evidence you can for to prove that you were occupying a different property, probably by producing utility bills for the same.have to drop your son in it. This is a decision for you to take.

I would consider also getting a statement from the agent confirming that you were not living at the property. Usually they would not be likely to do this but I would consider threatening them with a complaint to the association of residential letting agents about naming you a tenant when you should of been a guarantor. Try the softly softly approach first, but if this doesn't work then threaten a complaint.

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Kind regards

Thomas and 2 other UK Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Tom


Many thanks for your reply, it does give me some hope of a fair and reasonable outcome. Will I be able to ask (you) for further advice on this matter as the situation develops?


Yes, just reply to this thread

Thanks for rating my answer.

Kind regards