Late last year I signed a lease with another person for a house in Missouri. Utilities were not included with rent. At the time I owed a small amount to the city's utility company for an old apartment, so the other tenant agreed to put the utilities in their name. I was paying them half the utility bill every month.
Very long story short, that person broke the lease, moved out, and took the utilities out of her name, resulting in them being reverted to the landlord's name, who was NOT happy about that. I paid off my old bill to the utility company, but they refuse to transfer utilities into my name. The ex-roommate left a outstanding balance on the utility account for the house.
They are now refusing to transfer power into my name, stating that since I lived there during the time the power was used, I benefited from the services and are therefore equally liable for the bill. This bill is NOT in my name, and I had already paid half of that outstanding balance to the roommate.
I have since signed a new lease with another person, so the original roommate is no longer on the lease and is considered to have broken the lease by moving out without official notice or paying a buy-out fee.
I have a brand-new lease with myself and a new person, and they are refusing to turn utilities on in my name until I pay this bill that is not in my name. The landlord is shutting utilities off on the house in two days.
What can I do? I cannot live in a house with no power, and I cannot afford to pay off a bill that is not even mine. Especially since I have already paid half of that same bill to the original roommate, but it did not get paid to the utility company.
Can they hold me accountable for a bill in someone else's name, and refuse me service? This person is not even on the lease anymore - a brand new one-year lease was signed with myself and the new tenant, we did not just sign an amendment. It's a whole new lease.