Am I responsible for reconnection charges aa well as the entire electric bill that is under my housemate’s sublet’s name?

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Am I responsible for reconnection charges aa well as the entire electric bill that is under my housemate’s sublet’s name?

I was living with A,B and C. A and B are sublets of former housemate. We set up electricity service under A’s name and B (A’s girlfriend) were supposed to pay the bill using her credit card. However, they disappeared within few weeks. Now, 3 months later, B told me to pay 3 month bill including deposits, late fee, electricity, etc (I and C were supposed to pay only for electricity). I transferred what I supposed to pay to her bank account but she did not pay yet. As a result, the electricity company will shut off service unless I pay the entire bill. How can I proceed?

Asked on June 5, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Sublets are contractually in privity with the first tenant. You need to sue the first tenant for the money after you pay the electricity bill, ask the bill be changed to your name and make sure you contact your bank to reverse the funds from what you paid to B. Ultimately, they are obligated to a whole lot of people but the one who is mainly obligated to you is the one who sublet to A and B.


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