transfering my power to new apt

solomongrundyJuly 29, 2009

Dumb question about transferring my utilities:

My lease in my current apartment expires August 31. I already have a new apartment at a different complex that I could move into on August 20.

I have no intention of breaking the current lease, but I was thinking that if I move into the new place on Aug 20, it would give me a lot more time to move furniture, boxes, etc. from the old place, thus all I would have to do on Aug 31 is clean the place, do the walk-through, and turn in the keys.

However, if I transfer my electric to the new place on Aug 20, is that going to cause problems at the old place?

Thanks

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camlan

Most likely not. I've done this many times--it is so much easier to move if you have a few days overlap, instead of having to move everything and thoroughly clean the old place all in one day.

I"m not sure that you will actually transfer the electricity. What I've done is called the electric company and arranged to have the power turned on in the new place on the day my lease starts and the power turned off at the old place the day my lease ends.

Rules may be different where you live, but there was never any problem in doing this.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 10:11AM
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moonshadow

Who pays the utility bill at the place you've leased until 8/31? If it's been you all along, if you take it out of your name on 8/20, power company is going to have to put it in someone's name. If it rolls back to the complex as their responsibility, they will probably charge you for 8/20 - 8/31. (Even if you leave lights off and AC off, there is probably a minimum charge. You'd be surprised!) In my rentals, tenants pay their own utilities. If they cancel utilities, our power company has an 'automatic rollover' feature where if no new tenant claims the gas/electric it automatically rolls into the property owners name. (This is designed primarily for winter months so that there's no gas shutoff, furnace can be run, pipes won't freeze and burst. But it's a year round policy.)

I would find out what the power company will do if you're been paying utilities in your name all along. If they roll it over, probably the best thing you can do, to save a lot of problems and headaches, is start the power in your name at your new place, but also leave it in your name at your old place till 8/31. Explain the situation to the power company and ask them to do a final meter reading on 8/31. Your lease is up then, complex is anticipating that, and they will be prepared.

If utilities are incorporated into your rent, then you've already paid for it ahead of time for August and there's no issue, it will just roll into new tenant's lease on 9/1.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 8:37AM
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gammyt

solomongrundy, schedule the utilities in your name to be switched on the day you move.

Nothing is really shut off, the apartment will still have power, water, gas, etc.. The bills at that apartment just won't be in your name anymore.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2009 at 6:12PM
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moonshadow

Nothing is really shut off, the apartment will still have power, water, gas, etc.. The bills at that apartment just won't be in your name anymore.

Water or gas/electric with zero usage, there's still a minimum charge. It's surprising what those minimum charges can be on vacant units.(I'm not talking about a full shut off and then reconnect fees, that's even more $$. Just minimum fees for having services connected to the unit.) In this case, if tenant has held utilities in their name and closes their account early, someone is going to get charged for that last 1/3 of the month because the water and gas/electric services to the unit are still in place. No new tenant can take it over because a lease is in force until 8/31. So odds are the complex will receive the bill(s). Pretty much guarantee they won't appreciate getting the utility bill and won't pick up the tab as a courtesy. If they do get stuck with the bill(s), they'll get their $ back one way or another.

Again, if utilities are included in rent, it's a non issue. If they are in your name, the right thing to do and path with least headaches is leave them in your name until your lease is up or make some kind of arrangement with mgmt in advance.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2009 at 7:33AM
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gammyt

The utility companies do not care, they can only bill you for your legal address and use.

No matter what a landlord tells you, you are not responsible for things you do not use.

Think about it, if you didnt pay your electric bill the company would shut you off and the landlord couldnt say you have to have electric.

Clean the fridge, unplug it and leave the doors open so it doesn't get stinky. With no one living there and the fridge not running, there will be no electric use for the 11 days.

You are only talking 11 days anyway and with no electric use, the landlord wont have to pay a cent.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 11:13PM
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solomongrundy

Actually, what if I just flip the main switch in the fuse box to "off" on the 21st and then turn it back on on the 31st? That way I'm pretty sure, NO electricity would be flowing through the apt during that 10-11 day period

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 12:42AM
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moonshadow

gammyt, obviously you've not had a vacant house. There is a minimum charge.

I'm going to conclude the OP has utilities in their name, otherwise this would be a non-issue because it would have all been paid in the rent on 8/1.

The utility companies do not care, they can only bill you for your legal address and use. And there is a legally binding lease in force for OP's use of that address until 8/31.

No matter what a landlord tells you, you are not responsible for things you do not use. You sign up for it and have a contract for occupancy, you're legally responsible. Yes, an occupant can have utilities removed from their name prematurely. That doesn't mean they are no longer obligated to fulfill their end of the agreement. If I have a tenant on a lease, they bail early, leave me with an empty house and utilities to pay, according to law I can take them to court to recoup lost rents and any utility charges they were responsible for.

Think about it, if you didnt pay your electric bill the company would shut you off and the landlord couldn't say you have to have electric. I'd reread a lease on that. Most have language, when tenants carry utilities, that they will keep them from being shut off. It protects the integrity of a structure in multiple ways.

You are only talking 11 days anyway and with no electric use, the landlord wont have to pay a cent. Again, clearly you have not had a house vacant. There is no such thing as .0 with a power company. At least not with ours. And water bills include sewer charges, waste pick up, etc. It's all listed on the bills. There's more on there than a jolt of electricity or a drop of water.

OP, you asked for suggestions. I'm a LL and offered mine. Pull out a utility bill, electric/gas or water, and read the charges listed. I'm betting you'll see it's not all use related. (It's like a cell phone bill, there's a lot more on there that just talk time you use.) Do what you see fit. But if you contracted a place out till 8/31, pay utilities separately, and you turn utilities off in your name, charges mentioned above are going to go to someone. You are responsible, not your LL.

Worse than a LL, you don't want to get on the wrong side of a utility company as far as owing $, directly or not. I've seen it time and again. Tenants can get utilities in their name again somewhere else, but they pay a whopping security dep w/utility company. I've seen as high as $900 required for a tenant to get an account in their name again if they have any bad history or black marks on their records with our local power company.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2009 at 6:24AM
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thegrinch17

Just have the power transferred into your landlord's name at the old place. That's what I did when I moved recently. They didn't want the utilities shut off so I transferred it into their name when I had my name taken off of there. This way the power will stay on at the old place.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 9:25PM
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