How to handle joint accounts

Managing joint utility accounts can be a bit more complex than individual accounts, especially when it comes to closing them at the end of a tenancy. Here's what you need to know:

  • Communication is Key: The first step is to communicate with all parties involved. Make sure everyone is aware that the account needs to be closed and discuss how any remaining balances will be settled.

  • Contact the Provider: Just like with individual accounts, the next step is to contact the utility provider. However, they may require authorisation from all parties on the account to proceed with closure.

  • Divide Responsibilities: Decide who will be responsible for what—whether it's taking the final meter readings or contacting customer service. This ensures that nothing falls through the cracks.

  • Settle Outstanding Balances: If there are any outstanding balances, decide how these will be split among the parties. Some providers offer the option to divide the final bill among the account holders.

  • Documentation: Ensure that all parties receive copies of the final bills and account closure confirmations. This avoids any disputes down the line.

  • Remove Names: If one party is staying on at the property, make sure to remove the names of those who are leaving from the account. This usually requires a simple form to be filled out and submitted to the provider.

  • Follow-Up: As with individual accounts, it's advisable to follow up to ensure that the account has been closed and all dues have been settled.

Handling joint accounts can be smooth sailing when everyone is on the same page and responsibilities are clearly defined. Keep these steps in mind to ensure a hassle-free process.