NERC forbids landlords from imposing outstanding electricity bills on new tenants
.Vows to deal with DISCOs violating capping order
By Chris Ochayi – Abuja
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has directed landlords to stop imposing outstanding electricity bills in an apartment on new tenants.
The commission said this in a tweet on Thursday that “Landlord’s outstanding electricity bills cannot be enforced on a tenant. A judge recently ruled that the bills of a previous tenant cannot be enforced on a new customer. Send us details if you are in such a situation.”
According to the Commissioner, Finance and Management Services, NERC, Nathan Shatti, “a Landlord’s outstanding electricity bills cannot be enforced on a tenant.”
This he said was in agreement with a court ruling that the bill of a previous tenant cannot be enforced on a new customer.
Recall that before this directive, a new tenant while moving into a new house takes on the outstanding electricity bill in the apartment.
This practice has been a source of controversy in the country with distribution companies disconnecting customers who failed to comply
But Shatti asked new tenants who are asked to pay the outstanding bills of their landlords to report the issue to the NERC for appropriate action.
Mr Shatti stressed further that tenants who purchased meters with their own money would be reimbursed through an arrangement the NERC was about to make.
There is a court order in force that has made the violation of the Nigerian capping policy a punishable offence.
The capping policy stipulates that power Distribution Companies, DISCOs, disallowed from charging electricity consumers under the estimated billing system more than they do consumers with prepaid meters in the same vicinity.
“An order was issued on capping in February. The capping order is still in force.DISCOs should take note. The Commission is doing everything to enforce compliance. We will do even more,” the commissioner said.
Shatti told DISCOs to refrain from the illegitimate practice of taking money from customers without providing them with meter.
“The intention of the regulation is that payment should not be made if meters are not available. Where you have, write to the Commission with your details.”
Written by Kartia Velino