Transfer of Utilities
There are many issues to consider when moving into an apartment. One of the most overlooked factors is utilities. Everyone needs running water, trash pickup, and electricity. There are many bills that are optional conveniences such as phone lines, Internet connections, and television. It is important that everyone know how to transfer utilities when moving into an apartment and what to do when leaving that same residence.
Transfer of Rental Utilities
It is important to make sure that all rental utilities are transferred upon moving to an apartment. The management will only cover the bills for a short period of time after someone moves in and that service will be turned off if it is not transferred. Anyone that is unsure which utilities must be transferred should contact their management or ask a neighbor. Both of these sources will give a complete list of bills that must be placed in the new occupant’s name.
What is Included?
In addition to discovering what must be paid, a tenant should make sure they know what does not have to be paid. Most apartment complexes tell upfront which bills are covered by paying rent but some will keep this secret until asked. Most renters must cover their own gas and electric bills but some cheaper apartments require those staying to pay for water and garbage pickup. In some rare cases, a property manager will decide to pay for everyone’s cable or Internet. Such cases are exceedingly rare and should never be assumed.
Transfer of Utilities
Once a person knows which utilities must be transferred, it is vital that they get them all put in their name immediately. This prevents any overlap in usage that might cause their rent to go up temporarily. It also makes sure that anything that happened before they moved in is not erroneously charged to their account. This is a very common issue that is almost impossible to prove. If a person calls immediately upon moving in, the electric company can reference that date and say that previous activity is to be charged to the complex not to the individual.
Previous Utility Debt
It is a fairly common problem that a bill still remains unpaid from a previous residence. This can cause issues when transferring ownership of utilities to a new living space. Many companies will not move a name to a new account until the previous account is fully paid. This can result in the power or water being cut off in an apartment with little to no notice. This is why it is vitally important that all previous utility bills be paid off in full before attempting to move to a new place. Some companies will make exceptions if a security deposit is made to guarantee payment.
Turning Off Utilities
The final issue comes when a person moves out of their apartment. It is important to call each rental utilities provider and find out how they handle these situations. By having a name removed on the last day of living at an apartment, a person is protecting themselves from overcharges. The ownership reverts back to the apartment complex once a person removes their name, and it is then up to the manager to maintain that service.
Ultimately, the transfer of utilities could be as simple as a phone call or as complicated as doing your taxes. It all comes down to previous debts, credit scores, and even criminal background.
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