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Utilities bill advice

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Just looking for a bit of advice on this situation. The electric and gas at the house I've just moved out is in joint names with my housemate, but the direct debit is set up to come from my bank account. She was paying me her half each month (but is a bit useless with money so she does still owe me for the last 2 months).

Anyway, the direct debit amount we were paying was on the low side, so the final bill needs us to pay around an extra £200 each to settle up the account. I'm able to pay my half but my housemate is saying she can't afford to pay it all in one go and wants to set up a payment plan. My concern is the final bill they sent states a direct debit for the final sum will be taken from my bank account in 2 weeks time. I really don't want to pay the full amount and have to chase my housemate for the money as she's not going to be able to pay it any time soon. What I'm wondering is even if I call up and ask them not to take the direct debit for the full final amount what are the chances they'll still take it anyway? I'd prefer to avoid the payment plan route for my share at least if possible and just get it paid off. Legally what does a joint utility bill actually mean? Can they choose to just pursue me for the money if she won't pay or is it a 50/50 responsibility?

Has anyone got any advice as to the easiest way to resolve this? Am I likely to need to call npower when I'm with my housemate so they can talk to both of us? Thanks :thumb:


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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The easiest way to resolve it will be to ring NPower, as soon as you can. Ideally you'd be looking for them to set up a new direct debit in your housemates name for £200. You pay your half immediately, she pays the rest when she can. Morally it's 50/50 responsibility. Legally it depends on what paperwork, if any was drawn up when you moved in together.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Thanks Whowhere. I've spoken to npower who seem willing to listen to my housemate as long as she calls before the direct debit is due. Housemate is a friend and she's not denying she's responsible for paying half, so hopefully this will get sorted. She's said she won't leave me in the lurch, so I guess I shouldn't lose hope just yet. She's a lovely girl, but doesn't seem to grasp the concept that bills need to come first :banghead:. Everytime I've mentioned the low direct debit in the past and given her updates on what the new balance is she's said about how high the cost seems. It averaged out around £40 each per month for gas and elec combined for a 2 bed house, which if anything slightly lower than I'd expect, given she was at home all day most days. I can see why people say money issues quickly come between friends.

    I reckon legally I don't have much comeback as I don't think npower will get into a dispute into who owes what, they just want to get paid which is fair enough. We don't have any written contract for bills, just a joint tenancy agreement for the house which basically says we're responsible for all bills.
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