Landlord paid gas bills for all-electric apartment

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 February, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 February, 2000, 12:00am

A HONG KONG man paid thousands of dollars in gas bills for his London flat only to discover more than a year later there were no gas pipes.

The man, who did not want to be named, said the matter came to light when a new tenant called him to query a gas bill for GBP1,300 (HK$16,000) she had received in the mail.

Confused because all the heating and cooking appliances were electric, she searched the flat for pipes.

Officials from the gas board were called in and found that bills for another block of flats had been sent to the wrong address.

But that was not before the owner had paid up to GBP1,000 in gas bills for a previous tenant, after agreeing to cover all utility bills in return for a higher monthly rental rate.

He said the tenant had forwarded bills to the property management company he hired, and they had paid the bills on his behalf - and with his money - without checking if there was a gas service.