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aflatoon dash (health)     28 September 2011

Electricity bill-tenant vs landlord

I inherited  a property from my uncle  which after 12 years was vaccated by the Tenant who had  forcibly occupied the property of my uncle.I took posession of it in 2005.The tenant had occupied it for last 12 years and suddenly vaccated the property handing me the keys in 2005.Though the matter was subjudice.The property was registred in my name in 2006.As the litigation in the court was between my uncle and the tennant the electricty meter was in name of my tenant who handed over the keys and left the property in 2005. Suddenly I was served notice of the electricty bill amounting to rs 15000 which was of period 2004-2006.

I want to know or get any court JUDGEMENT where bill of consumable item like electricty is to be paid by the consumer who utilized the facilty and not by  the land lord.PL help me with the citation and court JUDEMENT and clarify who is required to pay the pending electricty bill me or my previous tenant who left with unpaid bill.Thanks in anticipation.



 7 Replies

Tajobsindia (Senior Partner )     29 September 2011

@ Author,

Welcome back after a mini gap ! Hope madam is still in Indian soils

1. Seems like case of uncle's large heart / goodwill gesture gone hunting now :-)
Reasoning: Seems to me that your uncle out of some reasons tolerated the tenant all these years irrespective civil injunction / vacation suit in service in some court . But the mute point that I am missing in brief is "absence of any rent agreement" between uncle and tenant even some old one i.e. pre present litigation stage will do to turn the case in your (uncle’s) favour is my early view on the brief.

2. Normally a rent agreement states who will meet society - colony - resident association maint. fees / electricity bills / water bills / house taxes / time to time raised local municipality demands etc etc. If a rent agreement itself is missing from brief then I doubt recovery. But I wonder how local Electricity Office pilled such huge arrears without cutting the meter? Second normally landlords fix a electricity meter how can tenant be given right to install such meter that also in his name unless there is compassionate understanding between landlord and a tenant anyhow these are too early a devils advocate thinking.

3. However a competent Court can always see the compassionate angle into all these but courts have shown lenience towards tenants in majority of cases so I am keeping my fingers crossed and it is obvious there exists a Judgment in favor of your cause title 'demand' searching the same and may produce reference soon and meanwhile subject expert may pop one for you !


Dr. Chandran Peechulli, Ph.D; FIE (Editor & Publisher Chief Engineer(Retd.) GM(T))     29 September 2011

In Chennai Metropolitan City.  Tamil Nadu Electricity Board arranges to remove the fuse of the defaulter, for non payment of energy dues by 30 days time and for re-connection penalty fees for re-connection collected adding on to the dues.  Therefore the Electricity Board Administration is also at fault in your area, for accumulation of such huge energy charges due to E.B.  Electricity Connection ought not to be in the name of the tenant, even those in poramboke/ no man's land also obtain connection, is owing to faulty administration of the E.B.  If Govt. sanctions temporarily the same ought to be in the name of such public body. Despite lot of feedbacks from the public the government officials do not absorb good suggestions for implementation but for continueing to lead a lethargic way of dutifulness.                                                                                                                                                   Genuine voices of the public are going unheard, by the public elected representatives and as well by  the so called bureaucrats of the respected departments. This has necessitated the public cry through "ANNA HAZARE Group".


The liability for payment of electricity dues, in the normal course, is that of the registered consumer of electricity. In this case, it is not clear as to whether the electricity connection in the premises stood registered in the name of the tenant or the landlord.  If it was in the name of the tenant, you have some ground to agitate the issue with the local Electricity Distribution Company concerned.  As per the provisions of  the Electricity Act 2003, at present,  inhoue grievance redressal fora are existing  with the Electricity Distribution Companies and as such you may first take up the issue with the said forum of your Distribution Company.  It would be worthwhile to add here that in some States, e.g. Gujarat, there is specific provision in the Electricity Supply Codes made by the State Regulatory Commissions that unless all outstanding arrears of the previous consumer in the premises are paid, the Distribution Licensee is not obliged to give new connection/re-connection to such premises where there are outstanding arrears.  Therefore, if such a condition is there in the Electricity Supply Code of your State, then it would be difficult for you to get electricity connection connection or re-connection of the connection in the premises. 

aflatoon dash (health)     29 September 2011

Dear Sirs,

1-Thank you all.

2-Tenant manupulated his way to get the connection .Notice was his name at our property.My uncle or my permission was never taken to give him his electrtricty meter.

3-On receving the information we volunteered to local sub staion to meet the JEE.

4-We explained the case I i.e tenanat was an unauthorized occupant ( there was no agreement between my uncle and teneat in 80 when house was given to him.

5-Electrical bills were given in the name of teneant(unauthorized occupant).

6- Notice was served at my property in 2009 or so and in april 2009 I had gone to meet the officer incharge and had put up an application saying I was in no way responsible for tenants bills as he has consumed and my property should be leard off this notice.

My question is when I sell the property I dont want any hassel for the next occupant or for myself if i decide to stay there and get new connection.What shall I do.Pl guide me.


It appears that you have a reasonably good case to agitate the  issue.  You may take actions as opined by me previously .

ashok gupta (Proprietor)     30 September 2011

Confirm the Meter Disconnected period out of the Billing period of 2004-2006.

If not disconnected any time find the details of actual Billing during 2004-2006 with Meter Reading (From the Bills) there may be some average billing.

Find the details of any payment made during the Billing period of 2004-2006.

If during this whole period no payment is made why the meter was not disconnected.

What is the status after 2006? Electricity Board can bill only for previous six months from the date of present Billing.

If you can collect all these details i can explain you what to do next.

If you have some old and present Bill send me the copy.

You can mail me to - ashokgupta55@hotmail.com

aflatoon dash (health)     30 September 2011

thanks ashok ji and Mr Jose for thrwing much needed light.Your opinion was pertinent.Though I dont have any bills in my posession but I think I need to contest the issue with the electricty board first.No Fresh notice has been served on my property in relation with the pending bills and One year has passed since my last meeting with them.It is also possible that my application to JEE requesting them to sign off the pending bill as bad debt has been accepted .I need to further clarify.

Thanks a lot for reducing my pain.

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