Can the landlord make you pay for the electric 5 days after your lease is up and you have turned in your keys?

The landlord at my duplex is trying to make me keep my electric on at my current address 5 days after I move out. I am moving into a new apt and need to switch it over to my new address. He says if I switch it to the apartment name I will have $50 taken out of my deposit. I did not see it in my original contract. When I said something to him he pulled a lease addendum out with the electricity being left on 5 days after the expiration date of the lease. It has my signature. Is this legal and what steps do I take now?

Asked on June 11, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

From what you have written, your former landlord wishes you to keep the electricity on in your name for the simple fact that if you have it shut off, he will have to pay a fee to have it turned back on.

You are under no obligation to keep the electricity in your name once your lease has ended and you have moved out of the rental beyond any period of time as stated in a written agreement that you may have signed. What your former landlord is trying to have you do is improper and places you at risk for having to pay the new tenant's electrical bill for your former unit beyond the stated 5 day period in the lease that you signed.

I suggest that you wait the 5 days after move out to take the power of your former unit out of your name.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.