Who is responsible for checking the accuracy of utility meters -the landlord or the utility companies?

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Who is responsible for checking the accuracy of utility meters -the landlord or the utility companies?

After 2 years of renting 1/2 of a duplex, the tenant from the other 1/2 moved out.I noticed that the gas and electric meters had been mislabeled since before I had moved in. The electric company has now re-billed all activity from the past 2 years, and is charging $2,000. I have always paid my bills on time and in full. My landlord states that it is the electric company’s (and gas company) responsibility to make sure the meters are correct before turning service on. The electric company states that it is the landlord’s responsibility. Who is correct, and is there anything I can do?

Asked on July 22, 2011 Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Most communities have meter readers who are employees of the company who is providing the electrical service come out to properties to read the electrical utility meters for billing purposes to the customers.

Some communities now have the meter read online to generate a bill for the customer.

The landlord is not responsible for how an electrical meter is read and how electrical bills are issued. That is the electrical company's obligation.

Your landlord is correct in saying that it is the electrical company's (and gas company's) responsibility to make sure the meters are correct before service is turned on.

The electrical company is wrong claiming it is the landlord's responsibility for reading the meters.

If you have a Public Utility Commission in your State, you might contact this agency about the $2,000 bill you received from the electrical company with charges that are 2 years old after you have been  paying your bill on a monthly basis timely.


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