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Friday Nov 01, 2013

Landlord 'should pay their own property bills'

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

'Many landlords today,' says Tony Clarke of Rawson Property Group, 'often insist on having the billing details of their water and electricity accounts changed into their tenant's names to avoid what can be seen as a nuisance on their side. I firmly believe 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.'

If landlords, added Clarke, 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. However, the landlord will probably not know about this and it could become a very serious situation because ultimately the landlord is always held responsible for all of these payments, even if the account is no longer in his name.'

These days, said Clarke, 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 very difficult non-payment problem.

Many of the problems on the electrical side, added Clarke, are being overcome by the installation of pre-paid electricity boxes but where this is not the case, he repeated, the landlord must receive all the accounts and then pass them onto his tenant himself, seeing to it that these are paid.

Rawson Press Release

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