Landlords with outstanding bills cannot transfer the payment obligation to tenants just renting their properties, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) said Tuesday.
The NERC made the revelation through its Commissioner for Finance and Management Services, Nathan Shatti, at a virtual session titled ‘Metres and Metring,’ noting that there was already a judicial precedence in place that forbids landlord placing the burden of settling backlogs of unsettled bills on new tenants.
“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.”
Mr Shatti went further to say that tenants who purchased metres 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 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 metres 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 metres.
“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.”
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