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The Insider’s Guide To Managing Your Utility Bills: Moving Business Premises Edition

There is so much to consider when moving business premises or leases. It could be easy to leave switching over your utilities until the last minute, especially given suppliers’ promises to make it happen hassle-free.
However, utilities should be top of your checklist, particularly if the previous incumbents have left a debt, which is the case more often than not. This usually happens if the previous business has gone into administration or liquidation, so it is important to draw a line in the sand, so you don’t cop the blame for someone else’s debt.

It’s relatively simple to distinguish what is owed by your predecessor if you know how. In this blog, we will show you how to prove quickly and easily ‘who owes what’ to avoid getting stung by debts you’re not responsible for.

Our best-kept secret

Most UK-based gas, water, and electricity firms have in-house ‘Change of Tenancy’ forms, which must be completed if you’re moving business premises or leases. The good news is that Double M Business Services already has access to each of these.

We appreciate that there is a lot of paperwork associated with moving. Fortunately, most utilities companies accept a form completed by a broker on the business owner’s behalf. So, we are happy to takeover this administrative task. All we will need is for you to sign a letter of authority that we will provide.

Of course, there are a few firms who insist on the business owner completing the form themselves, but we try to take the weight off our clients’ shoulders wherever possible. We have over 35 years’ experience in the sector, know each company’s preferred nuances, and understand the jargon; it just makes sense.

Follow the steps

There are a few steps you should take prior to shopping around for the best utility prices:

  1. Make note of all meter readings
  2. Back this up with photos of the gas, electricity, and water meters at the time you take the readings

Obtain a copy of the new lease/tenancy agreement, or proof of completion, whichever applies
There is no point hunting down the best deal if you’re being chased for your predecessor’s debts. By completing the above steps, you will have sufficient evidence to start your account in the black.

Know your rights

The common misconception is that suppliers will not attempt to collect monies owed from the new tenant/leaseholder/owner but – unless you can prove that it’s not your debt – they can and will up to the point of cutting you off.

When you hand your move over to Double M Business Services, we provide the relevant suppliers with meter readings, a copy of the lease, and serve official notice that you are the new owner from your agreed moving-in date. At the same time, we share any and all information held about your predecessor, so that the firm may chase them directly with regards to any debts owed.

Occasionally, companies ignore the evidence provided and circumnavigate us, as the broker, to send the customer a warning letter. In this instance, we tell our clients to forward the communication so we can resolve the issue.

Similarly, if our customers receive a phone call about debt, we advise them to respond by saying, “I’m the new occupier of the building, please put anything you want to say in writing.” That way, you avoid getting embroiled with utilities companies on the telephone.

Why get Double M Business Services involved?

While some brokers simply flog contracts, we are interested in the human side of businesses. We pride ourselves in being a small, family-run service and put our clients at the heart of everything we do.

To find out more, get in touch with Mike and Sue here.

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