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Landlord stealing Electricity Rent, Utilities

Discussion in 'Commercial Landlord & Tenant Issues' started by JanaBearCa, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. JanaBearCa

    JanaBearCa Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Just found out that for the past 2 1/2 years the large security lights in the common courtyard of our apartment complex are on our meter so we have been paying the landlord's electric bill the entire time. We also suspect our downstairs neighbor may have access to it as well because they moved a fence to take over a small room once used as a laundry room and everytime we turn off our breaker we can hear all the kids screaming "What happen" and "what's going on". We called the electric company and they said said they only investigate if the electric is being stolen from them, not if it's after the meter. There are 5 units and 5 meters, when we asked the landlord, first he said they get a separate bill but then just denied knowing anything about ît. The property management company manages at least six other identical buildings on our street and we believe it's happening at every single property. Our local police Dept said we needed to file a report with the District Attorney. Don't want to have to do that but we don't trust the landlord because he has lied to us before.
    Not sure what to do now, should we talk to the other tentants who are possibly victims as well? Hire our own electrician to inspect the wiring? File with the DA? please help
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    First question - in whose name is the electric bill? Most people must apply to an electric company (or any utility) for service and obtain a bill in their name to service their residence. If it's in your name then you should have a right to demand from them information of exactly what is being metered and whether it is beyond the premises that you rent.
  3. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    What do you expect to accomplish by pursuing this?
    Do you want to be reimbursed?
    Do you think it can be proven that the landlord knowingly, willfully used you to receive FREE electricity?
    If that's your goal, you need to do what you don't wish to do, and speak to the district attorney.

    If you wish to pursue a civil lawsuit, you must first establish who "jerry rigged" the electricity charges to be routed through your meter, when, and what you've been taken for to date, to establish your civil case for financial damages.

    It can't hurt to see if the electric company will dispatch a technician to inspect your meter.
    What you want to learn is what "hanky panky" took placem and how its costing you more money.
    Then you want that reduced to dollars, as in how much each month you're paying for something that isn't yours.

    Don't go blabbing about this, YET.
    Because, magically it'll get fixed before you get paid, assuming you have a case, which could allow you to receive financial compensation.

    So, play dumb, play nice, pretend you're as clueless today as you have been for the last 900 odd days.

    My gut tells me there's something there, but not if you get hinky.
    There'll be time to gloat, but slow and sure, and silent and deep, mate.

    You might also wish to shell out money to have a qualified electrician examine the meter and what all is routed through it.
    Get a report in writing, because that'll possibly be of some value if this goes to court.

    FINALLY, you'll probably be better off moving at some point.
    So, start looking for your next home tomorrow, because when the "filthy feces HITS the fan", things will get extremely difficult for you.

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