Unpaid share house account leads to default listing

Having trouble getting finance? Could an old energy bill from a former share house be to blame?

When Hannah* applied for finance to purchase a new car, she discovered a default listing on her credit report.

Hannah lived in a share house while she was at university. The electricity account was set up in her name, and her flatmates contributed to the bill each quarter by paying their portion directly to the provider. Hannah moved out when she graduated and headed overseas to start her new job. The electricity account was closed. She paid her portion of the final bill and assumed that her flatmates would do the same.

On returning to Brisbane a few years later, Hannah tried to buy a new car. Her application for finance was rejected because of a default listing. When she looked into it, she discovered the balance of the electricity account from the share house had not been paid by her flatmates as agreed.

As the account holder, the debt was her responsibility. Hannah called her provider and entered into a payment arrangement to pay the amount owing.

How EWOQ helped

Hannah tried to have the default listing removed from her credit report without success and contacted us for assistance.

We discussed the options with Hannah and referred her complaint to a higher level at her electricity provider. They reviewed the complaint and removed the default listing as a gesture of goodwill.

What you can do

As this customer story demonstrates, it’s important to understand your responsibilities as an account holder. If an electricity or water account is opened in your name, it is your responsibility to ensure the account has been closed. Make sure you have given them a forwarding address, arrange for a final meter read and pay the full amount owing on the final bill.

Lifting a default is not automatic and will only be done under certain circumstances, such as if an error is identified in a final bill, the bill was issued for the wrong amount, notices were sent to the wrong address, a customer was in a payment plan at the time the default was listed, or the customer was in hardship at the time the default was listed and a hardship arrangement was still pending.

Read more about how to avoid a default listing and understanding your responsibilities when entering or existing a tenancy.

Contact your retailer about any issues as soon as possible. If you’ve contacted you retailer and your issue hasn’t been fixed, contact us.

*name changed for privacy reasons

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