Should you leave the power on in a vacant rental is the question this week for Ask Landlord Hank. Remember Hank is not an attorney and is not offering legal advice. If you have a question for him please fill out his form below.
Dear Landlord Hank,
My rental does not have power or hot water at the moment. Should I set those utilities up for showings, and then cancel or close the accounts before tenants move in?
Hi, Landlady Tina,
I would definitely have the power on so that your place shows as well as possible and looks homey, bright and cheerful, and that the indoor temperature is comfortable.
When I show a property to a prospective tenant, I make sure all the lights are on, etc. The water needs to be on too, in case someone needs to use the restroom, but hot water should be turned off at breaker panel – there’s no need to pay to heat the water when no one is using it.
Make sure your lease indicates that the tenant is responsible for the power and that you receive verification that that power has been transferred into the tenant’s name on the first day of the new lease.
You can get in trouble if you turn off the power after someone has moved in.
Each week I answer questions from landlords and property managers across the country in my “Dear Landlord Hank” blog in the digital magazine Rental Housing Journal. https://rentalhousingjournal.com/asklandlordhank/
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