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


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.

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