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Responsibility for unpaid Utility bills? - Landlord Forum thread 220539







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Responsibility for unpaid Utility bills? by David (WI) on April 1, 2011 @11:15

                              
My Question is, if the renters run up a utility bill for gas and/or electric during the winter and we need to evict them for being late on there rent, is it the property owner's responsibility to pay the bill if they don't? The utility Company is not run by the city the property is located in.

Thanks for your time in this matter.
[ Reply ] [ Return to forum ]

Re: Responsibility for unpaid Utility bills? by John (NY) on April 1, 2011 @11:18 [ Reply ]
Some utility companies will hold the property owner responsible even if the bill is in the tenant’s name and some don’t. In many towns, our water bills will go on our tax bill if our tenant does not pay, but if the tenant doesn’t pay his electric bill, it is between the electric co. and the tenant… maybe that will change soon as the electric company gets stiffed by too many tenants…
Good luck.
Re: Responsibility for unpaid Utility bills? by Eric (MN) on April 1, 2011 @11:49 [ Reply ]
The utility company will konow who is responsible. If they were in your name, they are yours. If they are in the tenants name, and the utility is a private company (not the municipality), then it's generally the tenants.

Any utility that is the responsibility of the tenant, and can be attached to the property, needs to be treated and verified to be paid, just like rent.

It's better just to include it with the rent. Then you know it gets paid.

Re: Responsibility for unpaid Utility bills? by Patse (IL) on April 1, 2011 @11:54 [ Reply ]
You should check with your utility Co. - if you have to pay the bill to have the service restored to building/unit, you can sue the tenant for the cost of the unpaid bills (which you would need to pay for the service to be restored) - unless utilities were included with the rent (hope you had a signed agreement which stated they were responsible for the utility!)
Re: Responsibility for unpaid Utility bills? by ctlandlord (ct) on April 1, 2011 @13:15 [ Reply ]
if my utility were defaulted to the owner it would change the way I rent
Re: Responsibility for unpaid Utility bills? by Gail K (Georgia) on April 1, 2011 @13:19 [ Reply ]
Some water/sewer utilities do attempt to charge the owner for overdue bills from tenants. These utilities tend to be locally/city owned and do not have the capabilities to go chasing after tenants who have left.

It they do this, they simply refuse to turn on water (i.e., locking meters) until the overdue bill is paid.

The same does not happen with gas or electric utility companies (yet).

Gail

Re: Responsibility for unpaid Utility bills? by Bunny *M*A*G*I*C* (CA) on April 1, 2011 @15:18 [ Reply ]
In my area of CA, if it's in the rental or lease agreement, tenants are responsible to pay for their own trash, gas and electricity.

If it's not in the agreement, then the rent would likely reflect covering the costs of those utilities. If the tenant doesn't pay, the utility company goes after the tenant.

If the water & sewer bill is in the tenant's name, but they don't pay it, THAT becomes the LL responsibility and a lien can be placed on the house.


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