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Unique Utility Dispute

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Ace11

Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Wisconsin

Current Situation: I am the tennant and....

Renting from landlord on a 1-year lease, which ends 31 August 2005.

I recently purchased a home (closed 24 June 2005 and moved in 1 August).

Informed Landlord immediately of new home purchase and agreed to honor current lease up to 31 August 2005.

Moved out of leased home and into newly purchased home on 1 August 2005 and made final payment to landlord for August 2005 lease.
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Dispute:
30 Days prior to moving, informed Wisconsin Public Utility Service of moving situation. I paid my final utility payment of leased property ending July 2005 and the service was transferred back to the landlord. The landlord disagrees and says I’m required to maintain electricity at the leased residence until end of lease.
I refuse to pay for electricity I’m not using.

Question:
Am I required to maintain electrical services for the property even though I’m not living there?? It does not mention it in my lease agreement.

Thanks You
Awaiting Response

Ace
 


Ace11

Junior Member
Re:

I didn't visit this thread for personal opinions. I could have got an I THINK response from anyone!! Please read the my question carefully, consider the state (Wisconsin) I am in and answer the question from a LEGAL point of view.

Ace11
Out!!
 

JETX

Senior Member
Ace11 said:
Am I required to maintain electrical services for the property even though I’m not living there??
No you are not. However, it sounds like you may have made yourself liable by 'transferring' the utility. You simply should have STOPPED the service to that address and let the landlord know what you were doing. Let the landlord decide what he/she wants to do if they want electric service to the property.
 

fairlight

Member
You didn't do the landlord a favor by paying for August. You were obligated to. The decision to move out early was yours, and according to the lease, you're considered a tenant until it officially expires.

You decided on your own to have the electricity turned off early and the bill transferred to the landlord, which you weren't entitled to do. I agree that he's entitled to the cost of the electricity for the month (which shouldn't be much since nobody is there). The cost of running the refrigerator shouldn't be much, though.

I would, of course, ask for a copy of the electricity bill. Expect to pay it.
 

JETX

Senior Member
fairlight said:
You didn't do the landlord a favor by paying for August. You were obligated to. The decision to move out early was yours, and according to the lease, you're considered a tenant until it officially expires.

You decided on your own to have the electricity turned off early and the bill transferred to the landlord, which you weren't entitled to do. I agree that he's entitled to the cost of the electricity for the month (which shouldn't be much since nobody is there). The cost of running the refrigerator shouldn't be much, though.

I would, of course, ask for a copy of the electricity bill. Expect to pay it.
Sorry, but that is NOT legally correct. Though there is an obligation for the tenant to comply with his lease terms, there is NO obligation for the tenant to have utility provided. The simple solution would have been to cancel the service at that location and notify the landlord of that fact. I do agree that the OP MAY have some liability as to the bill IF he 'transferred' the bill to the landlord. However, I cannot imagine a utility company agreeing to transfer the bill to a 3rd party without SOME authorization.
Bottom line.... the OP may have some liability... depending on EXACTLY what happened.
 

fairlight

Member
Please read the "Important Notice" at the bottom of the page. It says it all regarding the people who respond to your posts
 

Ace11

Junior Member
Thanks JetX

Thanks JetX for what I believe to be more of a definitive answer. I did speak w/several landlords prior to accessing this forum and their answer was similar. (I know that I have to be careful and not hear what I’d like to hear but rather get a LEGAL answer to my question).

**Note* The utility company known as Wisconsin Public Service automatically transfers the utility services back to the landlord when notified by the tenant that the tenant is either moving or cannot pay the bill. This prevents the service from being cut off completely and thus a party having to pay additional charges of having the service turned back on.

I’ll continue to monitor this site for more LEGAL information on the subject.

Finally, the landlord is pretty cool but takes advantage of every angle. Case-in-point: (I didn't want to mention it but...)

I returned from Iraq, retired from the military and decided to return to Wisconsin and rent the first year before purchasing a home.

The property I leased from is literally 3 doors down from Lambeau Field. During Packer Games, the landlord parks approximately 90 vehicles on the property at $25.00 a vehicle. (You do the math).

In the lease agreement, I was not allowed to park cars on the property for money nor sell or profit by selling on his property. Cool! All I asked was that he keep the driveway open in case of family emergency. But during the first game, he connected an extension cord from the garage to the side of the house so he and friends could watch the game using electricity that I paid for! I brought it to his attention and he compensated by taking $25.00 off that month's rent and agreed never to pull that stunt again. Additionally, I had to ask him to move cars from the driveway, which he parked anyway. (I have pictures).

We didn’t argue but I had to watch this guy until my lease ended.

The saga continues……..

Thanks all,
Ace
Out!
 
Last edited:

longneck

Member
i agree with JETX, but have a bit more to add. if your lease states that the tenant will maintain electric service for the entire lease period, then you need to maintain electric service for the entire lease period.

so go check your lease.
 

ENASNI

Senior Member
um

longneck said:
i agree with JETX, but have a bit more to add. if your lease states that the tenant will maintain electric service for the entire lease period, then you need to maintain electric service for the entire lease period.

so go check your lease.
Just wondering what else the elect-- takes care of?.. what is the prob?
 

HomeGuru

Senior Member
I agree with JETX for the most part, but add that the tenant is liable for electricity needed to maintain certain components of the property, if such components would need electricity in order to function or be maintained ie. hard wired smoke alarms, security system, refrigerator, heating for piping to avoid freezing etc.
 

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