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mind the gap
03-04-2009, 11:56 AM
I have a guarantor who is querying the clause in our tenancy agreemeent which allows us to obtain or give details of the tenants from/to utility companies. The G has asked us to insert 'subject to the Data Protection Act 1998'. Would this significantly affect what we could do in terms of obtaining/revealing adddresses, etc?

This is the clause in question:

9. The tenants shall be jointly responsible for the prompt payment of charges for water and sewerage, electricity, gas, and telephone line rental (for the purposes of broadband internet connection). The Tenants irrevocably authorise the Local Authority, Benefit Office, Post Office and the relevant utility companies (including water, electricity, gas, and telephone) to discuss and disclose to the Landlord or Agent all financial and other information relating to the Property or any housing benefit claim. This authority shall extend to disclosure of the Tenant's whereabouts if the Tenants have left the Property with rent or other monies owing.


Should we just remove the clause?

Any advice welcome.

jeffrey
03-04-2009, 12:14 PM
It's none of G's business, is it? G is guaranteeing T's obligations, true, but G's question instead turns on an authority from T.

mind the gap
03-04-2009, 12:29 PM
It's none of G's business, is it? G is guaranteeing T's obligations, true, but G's question instead turns on an authority from T.

I agree, but if it keeps G happy and doesn't affect what I could do, I would add her rider about the DPA. What I need to know is whether to do so would invalidate the clause anyway...in which case it would be sensible to ditch it...or should I ditch it anyway on the grounds that if T leaves owing money for the gas bill, it's not my problem anyway and it's the utility companies' problem to chase them?

Or should I just tell G that I won't change it?

Sorry if this is a bit garbled. Last day of term and all that!

Paul_f
03-04-2009, 18:01 PM
A friend of mine works for one of the utility companies and informs me that they would not disclose to a third party any information concerning the consumer of a utility supply even if such a clause was in the tenancy agreement that they have irrevocably authorised it; apparently it still contravenes the Data Protection Act.

Ask your local Trading Standards Office because they might have a view too concerning potential unfair terms.