There is an outstanding A/C bill of AED 3500 from the previous tenants

Question:

I moved into a JBR apartment in December and as it is now starting to get hot, I want to connect the EMPOWER for air conditioning. However, I went to connect it and they informed me that there is an outstanding bill for AED 3500 from the previous tenants. So I don’t think I can connect empower and get A/C until this is paid in full. Is this correct? Also, what are my rights from here if the landlord isn’t that interested to help us to pay it.

Answer:

When a tenant moves out, the landlord has to see sight of the entire final bills such as DEWA and in your case Empower as well. The landlord would also have had a deposit paid by the previous tenant to cover costs or expenses incurred  such as re-painting, any repairs or nonpayment of utilities as in this case.

It is the landlord’s responsibility to discharge this payment in the absence of claiming it from the previous tenant. It certainly is not your responsibility to pay. You however are in a no-win situation, in that you need the a/c on but without this bill settled, there will not be a connection made. I suggest you speak with the landlord and come to some agreement. At the very least if you are made to pay it now, just to get your connection activated,  then you should reduce this amount from the next rental cheque .

I hope this has helped.

The above answer has been brought to you by Mario Volpi who is the Managing Director of Ocean View Real Estate in Dubai. Mario has 30 years of property industry experience in Dubai and London.

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice.

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