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Non Payment of Utilities by a Tenant
started a topic
about 5 years ago
I have a tenant that as per the lease was to obtain utilities in their name. The tenant requested we keep in our name and he would pay on a monthly basis, due to a tax situation that was causing a challenge for him to get the accounts set up. I decided to assist, and started providing the tenant monthly invoices as they came available. At first he paid as agreed, but has now stopped paying and is 4 months behind. Rent is current, it's just the Utilities that are not being paid. He is promising payment, but so far they are just promises, with no funds towards a growing balance. I would like to enforce the lease language, of requiring him to obtain utilities in his name by a certain date? Any guidelines to how best accomplish this? I look forward to your thoughts
about 5 years ago
Hello, If it's stated as a clause in the lease, then he's technically breaking the agreement. If there's nothing in writing regarding the current agreement, the lease would take precedence. Good Luck
about 5 years ago
I would just shut off the utilities in your name and stop paying for it. But then if they don't ever turn the utilities back on your unit will damage depending on location, weather etc. But only if it doesn't say that you are to pay the utlities in the lease should you turn it off. If they are supposed to pay for it, but you just decided to help as a verbal contract then shut it off and stop paying for it, if you think they will turn them back on in their own name and keep your property alive (meaning with power and water instead of without it).The 4 months will still be owed since the property is in your name and on your account and the property will maintain the amounts owed even after tenant moves out because the tenants owe you the money almost as if a friend would owe you the money. You Need to get things in writing though. A good time to do it would be at lease renewal. Or just don't renew them. Or subtract it from their security deposit and keep the invoices so they can't dispute it, or if they do, you are prepared in court. Especially if it doesn't say it on the lease that you are responsible as the owner for paying for utilities. Looks like you got yourself into a tricky situation. We put an additional clause in our lease stating that "X amount" will be deducted from security deposit unless final water bill and utilities Bills are paid and a receipt is shown, as we had an issue where our rental units for the past 15 years had collected delinquent and unpaid charges from the utility company for the owner to pay for when he tried to sell, from previous tenants who moved out and didn't pay their final utility bill, often on numerous occasions. One of the liens against the property for this was around $2,000 for numerous tenants not paying their final bills, and we had no idea and we had to pay for it.
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