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  1. #1
    nlee72 is offline Junior Member
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    old tenant didn't pay the electricity bill

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? IL

    A new tenant is about to move-in in a few weeks. When she called to have the electricity service on the day that she's suppose to move-in, the elec. company told her that it will not be possible to turn the electricity on the day that the new tenant moves in because the previous tenant had not paid the electricity bills and the service had been interrupted as a result. According to the electricity company, due to an interruption by the previous tenant, it takes anywhere from 10 to 12 days to restart the new application. That means, when the new tenant moves in, they will not have electricity because of the previous tenants' wrongdoing.

    As a landlord, I am inclined to ask the new tenant to move in after the electricity has been turned on, but that means the new tenant has no where to go do in the meantime. Also, that means, I am losing out on the pro rated rent for the first month, due to the previous tenant's mistake.

    Can the landlord charge the old tenant for the days that the new tenant can't move in? I still have the security deposit from the old tenant.

    Thanks.
  2. #2
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    Pay the electric bill out of the SD and itemize it along with all the other deductions you will probably be charging for.
  3. #3
    nlee72 is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks AL. But do you think I can deduct for the days I lost, which the new tenant can't move in.
  4. #4
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    No, you should have made sure that the electric bill was paid soon after your tenant vacated.
    Also, the electric company is the one planning on dragging their feet.
  5. #5
    nlee72 is offline Junior Member
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    Good point. However, the old tenant moved out 7/2 and the new tenant signed a lease to move in on 8/1. Also the old tenant informed all the bills have been paid. Not enough time for the landlord to find out whehter a bill was paid. There's still no recourse for the landlord, other than deducting SD for the unpaid bills?
  6. #6
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlee72 View Post
    Good point. However, the old tenant moved out 7/2 and the new tenant signed a lease to move in on 8/1. Also the old tenant informed all the bills have been paid. Not enough time for the landlord to find out whehter a bill was paid. There's still no recourse for the landlord, other than deducting SD for the unpaid bills?
    So, you didn't notice when the electricity stopped working?

    Escalate your question at your utility. I'm sure there's someone a bit further up the chain who can push this through faster for you.
  7. #7
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    Nlee does your local elect utility have any provision for dual notice to be sent out when a account is behind or about to be shut off ? ASK them what it would take to do that. ALSO see if they have a roll over service where when a tenant vacates the LL can call even if the tenant has already called and the electric is temporarily billed to the LL so service stays on for the days inbetween a move out and move in. In some places too utilitys in high risk areas might ask for copys of the lease as well. If you pay the bill do it in person if there is a nearby service center and ask them for a copy of the policy about requiring payment before its turned on. You could include a copy of it with your deposit disposition as well as it would be handy for court if tenant challenged deposit funds held by taking you to court. do your self a favor too learn what the elect and gas util cos policys are for deposits too so you know what they are and how they apply. Util cos are getting way way tougher about loss prevention.
  8. #8
    nlee72 is offline Junior Member
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    Oddly, even after the old tenant left, the electricity was still on, which is why I had no idea that they failed to pay bills on time. Which is why I asked the new tenant to call ahead in advance so that they can have their name changed before the old tenant calls to close the account (thinking that would make the transition smoothly).

    Now, I'm concerned that the old tenant rigged the electrical lines somehow to have the electricity even when the elec. comp. turned it off...
  9. #9
    IrishNodak is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlee72 View Post
    Oddly, even after the old tenant left, the electricity was still on, which is why I had no idea that they failed to pay bills on time. Which is why I asked the new tenant to call ahead in advance so that they can have their name changed before the old tenant calls to close the account (thinking that would make the transition smoothly).

    Now, I'm concerned that the old tenant rigged the electrical lines somehow to have the electricity even when the elec. comp. turned it off...
    No offense but with all the time you are spending posting here, you could have called and talked with the utility company and gotten it handled. If you pay them, they wouldn't NEED the extra time for a new application. However, did you even think that maybe the NEW tenant is not telling the truth and that THEY can't get the service in THEIR name due to an unpaid bill?

    You as the homeowner need to call and find out if there is an unpaid bill.
  10. #10
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by nlee72 View Post
    Good point. However, the old tenant moved out 7/2 and the new tenant signed a lease to move in on 8/1. Also the old tenant informed all the bills have been paid. Not enough time for the landlord to find out whehter a bill was paid. There's still no recourse for the landlord, other than deducting SD for the unpaid bills?
    I would have called to verify that the bill was paid and would've had it reverted to my account. One month is plenty of time to have had this resolved.
  11. #11
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    Likely the power was turned off in the time inbetween when your former tenant moved and the new one called. Another good reason to call the elect co so you can ask what date it was turned off when you also do your other research. HINT in most places I have seen if your meter has floppy weathered metal tags the meter has never been changed OR pulled to shut off the power. When replaced and if its plastic tag with metal rings you can figure it out by looking at other peoples meters In my area Green tags are used for working services Yellow are used for shut off ones UNLESS the property had a history of tenants breaking seals and stealing power then they use them fancy all metal rings with special lock after that and you just cant tell from a quick glance if its on or not unless you watch either the platter wheel move or see numbers change.

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