Is it legal for a utility company to change their rules and require a large security deposit for its services?

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Is it legal for a utility company to change their rules and require a large security deposit for its services?

For as long as I can remember, my utility company has stated on their bills that if your service is turned off, they can ask for a deposit. But only if your service is cut off. I intentionally pay my utility bill according to the turn off notice date. This has worked for 25 years. Now they say things have changed. They want a $520 deposit. I am curious to is this legal? How do I fight this?

Asked on June 27, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Maryland

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Read the language of your last utility bill you received and paid to see if the language has changed about a new requirement for a large security deposit, $520.00. If the language has changed in the utility company's bill, it can require a larger security deposit from you.

If you had the money to pay your utility bill on the earlier side, why did you wait to the very end to pay it? Waiting to the last day to pay a bill can have harsh results in the end. A $520.00 required security deposit is a harsh result.

The utility company is a private company. As a private company, it has the right to change its policies and requirements regarding security deposits which it did.

It looks like you are on the hook to pay the $520.00 required security deposit to the utility company.

 


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