General Question

desno's avatar

Can my landlord refuse to confirm residency if i am getting my electricity turned on in someone elses name?

Asked by desno (33points) May 26th, 2009

The electric company called my landlord after my friend got our electric in his name. before they can come turn it on, they need to verify residency, so when they called my landlord, he freaked out, called me and accused me of having someone else living with us. when i explained the situation, and that he is just turning it on for us, he got angry and said that i am doing something illegal by having my friend get it in his name if he doesnt live with us. i told him im not asking him to lie to the electric company. that he can call them and say “no, this dude isnt living here but he is getting the electric turned on for two residents that are living here” and that they would then turn it on. all they are trying to do is know someone is living here right? what do i do. i still have no power, because he wont verify residency.

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14 Answers

MrItty's avatar

Your landlord is doing the right thing. You live there, you pay the bill, the bill is in your name. The electric company needs to know that the person living there and using the electricity is the person whose name will be on the bill.

If your friend wants to be generous and pay your electric bill for you, he can write you a check each month.

YARNLADY's avatar

The landlord can only confirm the residency of the resident. To have the electricity in someone else’s name sounds like an attempt to defraud the electric company. Follow @MrItty advice.

desno's avatar

no, he is being asked to verify that there is residency. so they can come and turn it on, the electric company simply needs to know that someone is going to be held responsible for the bill. that is why this friend called and talked to the electric company himself. legally, he can get electric at anyones residency in his name, as long as he knows he is responsible for the bill

MrItty's avatar

<shrug> I don’t care what legal games you and your friend are playing. If I was the landlord, I wouldn’t do it either. You haven’t yet explained why you can’t simply have your friend write you a check each month, and until you do, I would continue to assume you and your friend are up to some sort of no good, and I wouldn’t be a part of it.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Having been a landlord, I wouldn’t rent in the first place to tenants unless they agree to assume relevant bills on my property in their name, why muddy up the business? Most people look to get someone else to open up utilities because they have bad credit but the utility will give you an acct. in your name if you put up a deposit. Friends help friends best (and remain friends) by helping with or providing cash rather than gambling their own credit histories.

desno's avatar

the problem is that i had my identity stolen, so my credit history, is under reconstruction.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

@desno: this is a great opportunity for you to put up a deposit and rebuild a little then.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence and @MrItty are absolutely right.
Your landlord is doing the right thing to protect himself. He shouldn’t have to lie for any of his residents. In fact if he suspects something is not right, he can give you the boot.
This is a great opportunity to rebuild your credit right now.

dynamicduo's avatar

Your landlord can do whatever he is legally allowed to do. He is fully in his rights to do the behaviour he is doing now. Electric companies are one of the best ways to build back your credit, as the only real detriment regarding your bad credit will be a larger deposit (possibly).

casheroo's avatar

Any landlord would be upset at this, given that they’ve probably never even heard of that other person. Did you explain it to your landlord beforehand? You shouldn’t spring things like that on them.

Darwin's avatar

My stepson couldn’t get the electricity turned on under his own name because of credit problems also. He asked me to sign on as the cosigner (the guarantor) of the bill. The account was thus in his name, but the electric company knew who promised to pay if my stepson did not. To do this we both had to go to the electric company’s office.

Have you and your friend considered doing something like that? This is very common when a young person first goes off on their own and has no credit history. Often colleges require the parents of the students to be the cosigners on things such as the phone bill in the dorm. Here is more information about it. The article refers to it in terms of cosigning a loan, but someone can be a cosigner on an account also.

In this way the account would be in your name, so the landlord can verify residency, but the electric company would have a backup to make sure they get paid. Of course, your friend would have to be a very good friend to do something like this. I ended up paying $900 on my stepson’s account.

The worst thing is that he never had the guts to tell me. I found out when I got a registered letter form the power company.

justwannaknow's avatar

Your land lord is right and if he wants to he can use that as a reason to terminate your lease. You may have to put a chunk of money down as a deposit , then most power companies will put it in your name.

desno's avatar

actually, i called the fair housing for my city, and the representative told me legally, he cant kick me out for either of these things. 1— having electric in someone elses name, and 2— not having electric at all. she said it would be illegal for him to evict me, seeing as he has no rights as to who pays for the electric.

justwannaknow's avatar

Well, that is good for you. Everywhere is not like that.

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