Are landlords responsible for an evicted renter's delinquent nipsco(light and gas) bill?

My husband and I are trying to rent out our property in Gary, Indiana after evicting the renter for non-payment of rent. When we went to the electric company to get the lights and gas turned on, we were told that we had to pay the previous bill which is $785.00.

We had already paid this person's water and sanitation bill to get the water turned back on. Are we being penalized because we have property or because we live in Gary? We have already lost property because of the outrageously high cost of property taxes. If you have any information that will help us please respond. Thank you.

6 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It really depends on what is lienable where you live.

    Where I live, unpaid water and sewer charges become a lien on the property itself, and it doesn't matter if a tenant or the owner incurred the charges. The municipal utility gets their money by placing a lien and then selling it at an absurd interest rate. The lien must be satisfied within 5 years or the owner of the certificate can begin forclosure proceedings. I do real estate closings, and I pay these types of liens off at closing every week.

    If I were you, I would speak with a supervisor at the power company. I once rented an apartment where the previous tenant had skipped on a rather large bill and they wanted me to pay it before the billing was put in my name. Since I thought it was absurd that they even suggested that to me, I called back and got a supervisor. I had to bring a notarized lease and ID to the power company to get the utilities in my name with no prior balance being charged to me, but they did do it.

    Maybe if you show up with the eviction papers they will do the same for you.

  • 1 decade ago

    Sounds like you need to exit the leasing business, or employ a property manager that can get things done for you.

    Utilities typically are in the tenants name. If in Lessor's name then Lessor is responsible. In tenant's name tenant is responsible.

    You need to see if the tenant committed fraud and obtained services in YOUR name, and if so sue them, write a letter to the credit bureau and to the power company. If you have service with the power company otherwise and pay that bill timely, that can bolster your case that it was not you and therefore not owed by you.

    Next time pull a credit report, ask for references and then call them. You need to lessen your risk if you intend to be a landlord. I refuse to own residential rental properties because in court at least in Tennessee they have all the rights and you have all the money or so it seems. They also turn over annually, requiring carpet cleaning, general cleaning, perhaps paint touch up and usually more. They always have dogs when they are clearly forbidden- and they always mess or "wet" on the floor contrary what the tenant swears upon his dead grandmother's grave.

    I'd suggest that you just get out while real estate is still selling, take your money and pay down your current mortgage, thereby building wealth for your self via reduced debt. Now that is a good investment!

    Source(s): Licensed real estate broker in TN- yes we wear shoes, we have our teeth and we do go to dentists, no our girlfriernds and wives are not pregnant at the same time.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    If a utility remains in your name and the renter is supposed to pay but doesn' falls to YOU to pay. However if the utility is in tennants name, they are responsible for the bills. You may have to file a case in small claims court to recoup your losses

  • Mrs D
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    yup, its in your name, it is your responsibility. If the previous tennant signed an agreement that they would pay, you can take them to court to recover the money. That is how it is in Australia anyway. You'd be best calling a lawyer or magistrate & asking what you can do, even the police might be able to advise you of what to do about it. Best of luck :o)

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  • 1 decade ago

    Try contacting a lawyer who's first counseling session is free and find out for sure who is responsible.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    if the bill is in your name, your are going to be phucked out of that money to get it all turned back on.

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