Avenir has represented Gabriella Andersson and Craig Hill in a dispute with Söderköping municipality regarding a claim from the municipality of more than half a million kronor for old electricity bills. Following a trial at Norrköping District Court, the court rejected the municipality’s action and ordered the municipality to pay our clients legal costs of approximately SEK 400,000.
It all started in 2009 with the couple Gabriella and Craig buying Engelholm’s school in Sankt Anna from Söderköping municipality. The municipality had an electricity contract for the property which was never terminated after the transfer. Gabriella and Craig talked to the municipality about this and according to them, the parties agreed that the municipality would continue to pay for the electricity until an electricity meter was installed. The reason for this was that the electricity for a water pump not belonging to the property and lighting for a public road also charged the property, and they wanted to be able to separate these costs. However, the municipality did not install the electricity meter, despite assertions from Gabriella and Craig.
Ten years after the sale, the municipality installed the electricity meter and suddenly wanted compensation for all the electricity bills that had been paid over the years with just over half a million kronor. We contested the claim on behalf of Gabriella and Craig on a number of different grounds, including the aforementioned oral agreement that the municipality would be responsible for the electricity bills until the electricity meter was installed, which we proved in the trial. The district court dismissed the municipality’s action already on this ground, meaning that the municipality must pay all costs in the dispute.