Proof New Tenant Transferred Utilities Prior to Move-In

7 Replies

I'm curious how most landlords expect the tenant to prove they have transferred the utilities before you hand over the keys?  Do you require them to bring emails / confirmation numbers / etc?  (not sure what all there could be)  Or, do you call the utilities on your own to ensure they are scheduled to be transferred?   Or, is there another option?  Thanks in advance!

@Justin Stephens

You can just have them show you the 1st month's or 2nd month's bill showing that their name is now on the bill.

I have them show me confirmation before they ever get keys, and also call and make sure. In Florida, if we forget to turn off utilities in our name, we can’t ever shut them off!!! It’s crZy, but we check and double check

Originally posted by @Brian Adzadi :

@Justin Stephens

You can just have them show you the 1st month's or 2nd month's bill showing that their name is now on the bill.

That's a terrible idea to wait that long. So you are going to wait until 1st bill is created to receive the proof? In fact you will find out if they have transferred the utilities in their name of not much before that, based on whether you get notice of cancellation of services or actual bill. 

Easier to call the utilities companies and confirm yourself. 

Additionally, just to make things more interesting (and complicated), what Justin needs to do is call up each utility company and ask them how the transfer is to take place. With some utility companies, the tenants calls and transfers the service in their name, and that automatically cancels the service that's in your name. In some cases, you have to call and cancel your service, and then the tenant needs to call and activate his/her service. You need to make sure you do your part ahead of time. 

Don't make it complicated than it needs to. Its not end of the world that the utilities are in your name a couple of days or even weeks after the tenants have moved in. If there is an overlap, you can always present the bill to the tenants and ask them to pay their portion or take it off their security deposit at the end. 

The local utilities co. is very LL friendly. I used to call them to see if it was put in the tenants name. Now I can go online and see who's name it's in at any time on all of my properties. This is done BEFORE the lease is signed.

In AZ you can create a landlord account, so it is easy to check by just logging in to APS and looking up by property.  If the tenant has arranged for utilities in their name, the property states Tenant.  If nothing has been transferred, it states Owner.

Before this system (and I acknowledge that not every state will have this kind of system), I would have them bring their confirmation # before keys were given.  There is usually a confirmation page that the Tenant can print off when they have the utilities set up.

We always give them 48 hours from the signing of the lease to move the utilities into their name. Here in Louisville, the local company (Louisville Gas and Electric) actually requires the landlord to verbally verify that the new tenant is a resident in the property. So, we tell the new tenant the day of signing that they have 48 hours to move the utilities into their name because they are scheduled to be turned off in 48 hours. (no, we do not really have them scheduled and would not turn off utilities as it is illegal)

So, in the first two days one of two things will happen:

1. We get a call verifying that the tenant lives there so the utilities can be placed into their name. Problem solved.

2. We do not get the call and this lets us know that they have not moved utilities and we inform the tenant that we are billing them back for all utilities and that they are currently in violation of their lease and send them a notice to quit. 

We have had 100% success in all utilities being transferred into the new tenants name prior to the end of the 48 hours.

I just call the utility company myself and check.

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