When a house is sold, who pays for an existing gas bill?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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When a house is sold, who pays for an existing gas bill?

We purchased our home but did not get the gas switched to our name because we didn’t know that we

had gas. A month later, the previous owner reached out and told us that the gas would be shut off that

day and we needed to switch it into our names. Also, they requested that we reimburse them for the time that the gas bill was in their name. Are we legally required to do so?

Asked on March 16, 2018 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Any outstanding bills should have been paid at closing or the account closed in the seller's name prior to closing.  It seems that this was an oversight and that the consumption was actually yours for this time period. If they sue you for the funds and show documentation then they will likely recover from you.  Why go through all that? 

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