If I moved out of my apartment 3 weeks prior to my lease ending, am I responsible for the electric bill incurred during that time?

At which time I gave my landlord the keys and took the electricity bill out of my name. I have been moved out of this apartment for over a year now, and I got a collections letter in the mail for unpaid utilities. Landlord is claiming that during that 3 week period between when I handed in my keys and when my lease eneded that they inccured $78 in electric bills and that I should be responsiable for paying for it. How do I get them to take responsiability for this bill, and how do I get them to remove it from collections?

Asked on November 12, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unless the landlord agreed to let you move out three weeks prior to the lease ending, you had no right to do so--in the absence of landlord agreement (or a provision in the lease allowing its early termination), even if you move out, you are still obligated to the lease and to any charges in it, including rent or utilities. If the landlord did agree to release you from the lease, or if the lease provided an early termination provision with which you complied, then you would not be liable.

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