Problems regarding Utility Ownership

By Jack Shea

Me and my other roommates are in quite a predicament regarding utilities. In our written lease agreement it states that our landlord has no obligation to cover utilties. In the beginning of the year, our landlord asked one of our roommates to put his name on the gas bill. The problem with this though is that none of our floors have control over the heat. The only working thermometer is located in the basement which causes the tennent downstairs to have complete control of the heat. It was because of this and the fact that the house has one gas line for multilple different tennents that are roommate denied acceptance to this amount of risk. Well our landlord never mentioned the gas issue for several months until just recently, in which they requested one us to put our name on the gas bill AGAIN, along with request of payment for all the previous months that we used the gas. We’ve sent them a letter explaining the matter and instead of negotiating, our landlord has sent us an ultimatium which entails shutting off the gas as of next week. If someone has any suggestions on how to handle this matter, I be very grateful.

Edited on: Saturday, October 23rd, 2010 1:09 am

3 Responses to “Problems regarding Utility Ownership”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)


March 16th, 2010 3:53 am

Why not just file a complaint?  I would think that you would be able to get help by going that route.  If  that doesn’t work, you can always take your landlord to court.  Although, you probably will get some resolution by doing the RPA Complaint thing.  I once had a tenant file a complaint on me, I wasn’t too happy about it, but when everything was said and done I understood and realized that I wasn’t being fair.  Hopefully, your landlord will come to the same realization.
I know the Agent that contacted me was able to talk to me without putting me on the defensive.  I would think the same would happen to your landlord.
Good Luck!

A renter

November 2nd, 2010 10:41 am

It is illegal for a landlord to shut off utilities. It is also illegal for a tenant to pay for utility bills of another person, or of a common area. The LL should have the oil bill in HIS name and have tenants pay him back.

WRITE a letter send it CERTIFIED with RETURN RECEIPT, explaining the problem. Look up your state laws and what it says about forcing a person leave by shutting off utilities (illegal eviction). Also look at what it says about paying for utilities in common. That is what you are doing if the downstairs person has control of the heat and the oil is in your name! That’s insane!

A Renter

November 2nd, 2010 10:44 am

I tried filing a complaint on here and it states they can’t find my address! I laughed real hard because it’s on the map, the place has existed for over 20 years. It keeps asking my nearest city! LOL I live in a city and click on the city I live in and it won’t accept it. Then it says can’t find address. Whatever, guess all the Maine landlords can screw everyone over and get away with it coz you certainly can’t complain on here. So to the Landlord who used that as a comment… maybe they tried and the system on here wouldn’t allow them!


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