Utilities not transferred
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Utilities not transferred (by Sue [MI]) Nov 21, 2020 10:29 PM
       Utilities not transferred (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Nov 21, 2020 10:41 PM
       Utilities not transferred (by JB [OR]) Nov 21, 2020 10:47 PM
       Utilities not transferred (by Sue [MI]) Nov 21, 2020 11:18 PM
       Utilities not transferred (by Robert J [CA]) Nov 22, 2020 12:21 AM
       Utilities not transferred (by WL [CA]) Nov 22, 2020 1:44 AM
       Utilities not transferred (by Jasper [OH]) Nov 22, 2020 8:01 AM
       Utilities not transferred (by Richard [MI]) Nov 22, 2020 8:37 AM
       Utilities not transferred (by 6x6 [TN]) Nov 22, 2020 10:12 AM
       Utilities not transferred (by Scott [IN]) Nov 22, 2020 10:49 AM
       Utilities not transferred (by Richard [MI]) Nov 22, 2020 11:08 AM
       Utilities not transferred (by Sue [MI]) Nov 22, 2020 12:02 PM
       Utilities not transferred (by Nicole [PA]) Nov 22, 2020 12:02 PM
       Utilities not transferred (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Nov 22, 2020 1:37 PM

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Utilities not transferred (by Sue [MI]) Posted on: Nov 21, 2020 10:29 PM

Wayne county:

Tenant moved in and did not transfer utilities into their name for a single family home. Can I shut them off and get it out of my name or does that count as a problem such as a constructive eviction? The lease states utilities need to be put into the tenants name. Water, gas, water/trash.

Can I evict due to the lease violation of the utilties? Of course they are also not paying rent. One is a retiree on a fixed income. Others have children. --69.136.xxx.xxx

Utilities not transferred (by Sorta Blonde [CA]) Posted on: Nov 21, 2020 10:41 PM

Unless your rental agreement says YOU will pay the utilities, you can cancel them. Send a note to your tenants reminding them that you will be removing your name and notifying the utility company to shut off everything. Utility will take a reading, send you a final bill, and if the tenants want lights, they will have to call and schedule a turn on. I always turn off the utilities when someone moves out and then tell the new ones, they will have to turn them on themselves. Never had a problem. Our power company asks what date you want the shut off and you don't have to pay past that date. Sometimes (esp with the covid) they are leaving everything on at no charge to anyone.

As for Trash, my city requires the property owner to pay monthly trash service no matter what. So if a tenant doesn't pay, I get a letter threatening a lien on my property and a demand to pay. Now I just pay the trash myself (up their rent to cover) so I don't have any troubles. --72.199.xx.xxx

Utilities not transferred (by JB [OR]) Posted on: Nov 21, 2020 10:47 PM

Nope, Sue. You did this horribly wrong. You can now get yourself into trouble if you suddenly shut utilities.

You MUST require all tenants to get utilities into their name before ever handing over the keys. Live and learn.

You can threaten them that you will be shutting off the utilities and that they must do it, but you have put yourself in a horrible position now. And if you were to actually follow through with it, look out. --73.25.xx.xxx

Utilities not transferred (by Sue [MI]) Posted on: Nov 21, 2020 11:18 PM

Yes, I am in a terrible position. I have overall major negative income greater than my old job income from nonpaying rentals. I was laid off myself 2/28. So missing my income, some rental income, some tenants are paying, and all these utillities.

The one tenant moved into the house without a lease, keys, with rent or security deposit. He was a former tenant and said I drove by and the front door was open so surprise I moved in Poilice would not help as he was not a stranger to us. We took him to court and he paid in full the night before court. He has not paid anything since March. Did give one uncashable check in Selt and would not replace. He did not fill out the line where your write out the amount. --174.230.xx.xxx

Utilities not transferred (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 12:21 AM

Each City and County have their own set of rules. Here in Los Angeles, CA and other parts of this State, A landlord can NOT shut off utilities on a tenant, period!

So what I do, is in my lease it states the day their tenancy starts, Such as December 01, 2020. It states that I'm going to hand over the keys to the property on November 31st, but I am putting in a turn-off order set for the 28th. If the new tenants want to have power and avoid extra turn-on charges, they need to order the utilities be in their names before the 28th..

This way if the tenant fails to turn on power and I give them the keys after I turned off the utilities, then it's on them. --47.155.xx.xxx

Utilities not transferred (by WL [CA]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 1:44 AM

This is why I keep the utilities off in a vacant unit until the T turns them on. No risk of getting stuck paying his utilities thru some screwup. Use a generator or line from the laundry room for turnover power. --174.65.x.xxx

Utilities not transferred (by Jasper [OH]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 8:01 AM

In 30 years of landlording I have always done MTM. I had this situation early on in my investing career. For whatever reason, the tenant refused to have utilities put in their name on a single family house. I gave 30 day notice for non-renewal of MTM, and they moved. They were there 2 mos. Their security deposit covered the unpaid utilities. --75.88.xx.xxx

Utilities not transferred (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 8:37 AM


I'm in Michigan too. (northern lower MI). A deadbeat tried this on me. The electric company Consumers Energy (supplier for that place) told me that they will not turn power on for a tenant if there is no lease signed in the tenant's name. I had left the power on and the tenant had called to switch it.Shortly after that the electric company said the tenant had a large unpaid bill from another address and shut the power off on their own. Tenant called and wanted me to put someone elses name on the lease(a "cousin they said). I refused as I had no idea who this was, and besides, they wers not paying.

Anyway, the electric company immediately shut the power off due to fraud. This was in Janurary. The deadbeat had already used up all the propane (so no heat) and was using several electric space heaters. To end the story, she and her prison boyfriend moved out, trashed the place (naturally) and I had to pay $380 electric bill. Never again.

You might check with the utility companys and see if they do that where you are.

These deadbeats/thieves need to be in jail at the least.

P.S. In Michigan, some places charge the water bill to the owner of the land if it's unpaid. This game with the deadbeats has gone on for over a hundred years. Back in the 1930's a bill was passed that forbids any water supplier from charging the landowner if the deadbeat does not pay. However, THE LANDOWNER MUST notify the water supplier in writing that they will not be responsible per this bill. You can find the info/bill on the Michigan dot gov website.


Utilities not transferred (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 10:12 AM

Sorry to hear about your troubles.

When I rented my unit this last time, I required the tenants to put the utilities in there name by lease signing day. Before I met with them to go over the lease I called the utilities company and verified that the utilities were transferred.

It sounds as if you may need to tighten up your screening process as well.

Most likely you could get in legal trouble if you shut the utilities off now. Check your state laws.


Utilities not transferred (by Scott [IN]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 10:49 AM


does that 1930's law apply to sewer? My MI place has a well, but is hooked up to the municipal sewer. If tenants don't pay the sewer bill, they stick the unpaid balance on my property tax. --107.141.xx.xxx

Utilities not transferred (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 11:08 AM

Scott, I don't know about that. You would need to check with the state govt.

I suspect though that it might not. Back in the 1930's they didn't have sewer systems and sewer plants like they do now. When I was a kid,(10 years old), I lived in a large coastal town in the southeast. I remember there was a 3 foot diameter pipe that dumped the city sewer right into the river. You would see a big brown stream of "water" shooting from it all the time. As I got older, the city put in a plant and shut off that pipe. Many cities did that prior to the 60's. (Ever heard of the Miami Pox? Back in the 1930's, the ocean around Miami was brown for a mile out from shore. If you swam in it, you got the itch and broke out in sores) The city dump was right there also, right against the river. After a bit they relocated the dump, put about 12-18 inched of dirt over the now unused dump and built big fancy houses all over the area/ Those houses are still there as far as I know. Sitting right on top of years of garbage. --75.7.xx.xx

Utilities not transferred (by Sue [MI]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 12:02 PM

In my township, they no longer put the waterbill into the tenants name and send to me directly and I have to bill the tenant. The letter about the change awhile back said, there was an improvements made to get them out of the middle and not be involved with the tenants. With penalties it rolls onto my property taxes. --69.136.xxx.xxx

Utilities not transferred (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 12:02 PM

this is state and/or area specific. I agree with everyone else who says always have it turned off in your name day prior to new tenants coming in. Here, they won't actually shut it off if new tenants have it in their names - it flows seamlessly.

But, if they don't ... again this is Pennsylvania ... you tell the electric/gas company you want to terminate service. They ask if anyone lives at the property. If you are being honest (as you should), you say yes. Utility then begins the termination process. They give them xx days notice to get service in their names. If not, several shut off notices show up on the door and not sure of the timing but perhaps 30-45 days later it gets turned off. If all this is going on, you've also got much more serious issues than just utilities going into their names and you need to be getting them out the door at the same time. --72.70.xxx.xxx

Utilities not transferred (by Robert,OntarioCanada [ON]) Posted on: Nov 22, 2020 1:37 PM

Most jurisdictions if rent was never collected then there is no tenancy. Always keep the rental unit or rental home locked as if they break in then can have them charged. Unpaid utilities and unpaid rent go hand in hand together. If on credit check they have unpaid utilities then they can take a walk. Being a rental housing provider is not casual operation where any mistakes will be costly. It is better to set up a appointment where can be there to hand out rental applications. Before anyone moves in then the utilities must be in tenants name or they walk. The deadbolt needs to be rekeyed as soon as the tenants move out where keys are never copied. --147.194.xxx.xx

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