What??? I Got to Pay Evicted Tenant Electric Bill

7 Replies

Hello to all, I have a utility situation Im not sure how to handle. I was in the process of evicting a tenant when they moved out. We had a stipulation agreement for amount they were to pay, date they wer e suppose to pay it and move out date. Of course they failed to live up to the payment( $800) or date of payment portion ( 11/20/17) of the agreement and moved out (12/7/17) before the agreed upon move out date of 12/20/17. The problem is that when I contacted the electric company ( Con Ed) I was told they cancelled service on 12/1/17. The electricity is still ON. I was told if I wish to put the utility in a temporary account until get another tenant they would charge me begining 12/1/17. Call me strange but I dont feel like picking up the tab for their electricity bill. Now I admit my workman did go in and fix the place up ,took them 10 days ( I don't even want to go into the condition these tenants left the apartment in...lets just say it took a carpenter, painter, plumber exterminator and hardwood floor guy to reassemble the apartment). And I have had showings last last three (3) Saturdays for 2 hours each. I have no problem paying for my fair share of use I just dont want to pay for thier free ride anymore. I asked the utility rep when electricity would be turned off, they didnt know. Im still showing apartment and dont know when the lights will go out. Guess Im stuck footing the bill until I sue them in small claims court . What do you think, open temporary account (paying thier portion of the bill)? Or take my chances with the lights going out any day ? Thank you for your assistance.
P.S. Just got back all the keys today.

I've learned not to assume, but how much we talking about for the 6 days they were on site w/ canceled account?

This is an odd set up which I assume may be common in other areas. In my area I have an owners account which the property defaults into when the tenant shuts off service. In this way I could look up online and see whether they switched service and when.

If it was my unit I would pay the bill and not worry about it. Compared to what you have already lost and the negative of having prospective tenants walk in to a unit with no electricity it’s really your o line option.

Also as a side not I am curious if you have ever had success when suing a tenant. I always hear it’s a dead end street.

I’m sorry for your troubles and I hope your next tenant is a good sort.

Pay the bill and pro-rate the electricity bill as a Security Deposit deduction.    Even if they don't pay, it is a lot cheaper than frozen/ burst pipes.

That sounds harsh. Too bad you had to go through that. If you are showing the place you have to get the lights on for move in so be careful about that. I dont think you have a choice.

Thank you all dor your valuable advise. Yes, I will bite the bullet and pay the bill. The business of renting must go on.
@Cyntnia Brooks - just a possible approach in the future - in Astoria, Queens 2family we have 3 meters, 1st floor, 2nd FL and common. When tenant leaves we turn off the main breaker for the vacated apartment. Then we turn on circuits in Common panel for lights to work in vacated apartment. That way we do not co-mingle usage with former tenant. Much easier that way. My hubby was Local 3 Electrical Contractor so he handled making the switch overs super easy.

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