Your lease agreement requires you to switch the utilities into your name no later than three (3) days after the start of your lease. It's important to note that this deadline goes by the start date of your lease, not the day you move in. If your lease begins on January 1st, but you choose not to move in until January 10th, you are not able to delay switching the utilities over until your move-in date. You must have them switched over no later than three (3) days after the start date of the lease.
If you fail to do this, several things will happen:
- We will bill you for the actual cost of the utility bill, and you will be required to pay us to reimburse the landlord for the cost out of his pocket.
- You will be charged an additional $25.00 administrative fee for each and every utility bill that we have to charge you for. This means that if you don't put the gas, electric, and water bills into your name, you will be charged $75.00 in admin fees, plus the cost of the utility bills. If it goes into a second month, you'll be billed that much again.
- The landlord may have the utility shutoff. Please note that our company will not do this, but we have no control over what the landlord may do himself. If he doesn't have the money to pay your utility bills, he may have no choice but to simply not pay them, and the utility company will shut them off by default. Then they will likely charge additional reconnect fees, penalties, and interest, all of which would be your responsibility to pay.
- If the bills are high enough, or it goes on long enough, we will file an eviction against you to have you removed from the home and get a judgment against you for the cost of the bills so that your wages and bank accounts can be garnished to reimburse the landlord. We obviously do not want to resort to this, but our fiduciary responsibility is to the landlord, and we are duty-bound to represent their interests and collect what you owe by any legal means necessary. We take that responsibility very seriously.
Obviously, it is in your best interest to switch the utilities into your name immediately upon the start of your lease in order to avoid these consequences. In order to assist you with this, we have contracted with Citizen Home Solutions to assist you with utility connections. You may reach them at http://myfreeconnection.com/gtlrealestate
Their assistance is free of charge.