When a tenant moves out of your rental property, and is no longer obligated to maintain the utilities in his or her name, he or she will typically want to contact the utility provider and ask for service to be discontinued, effective the date of the lease termination. Far West Property Management in Prescott discusses how there could be a couple of potential problems with this:
1. If the utility is actually discontinued, there is usually a fee to have the service re-instated in the owner’s name.
2. If that particular utility powers the heating system, and it’s winter time, the shut-off may well result in frozen and broken pipes, which when thawed, can wreak all kinds of water damage and other havoc on the property.
So, what does one do? Well, whether you manage the property yourself, or have a management company do it for you (we, of course, highly recommend Far West Property Management), it is often advisable to set up what is called a Landlord Agreement with the utility. This is simply a written agreement between the Landlord and the utility, that whenever tenants move out of a rental property and order the utility to be taken out of their names, the order is flagged, and the utility is automatically placed back into the landlord’s name, with utility services never being discontinued.
Hence, there is no re-connect fee, and service remains continuous so that heating is not interrupted, pipes don’t freeze and break, and house cleaners, carpet cleaners, painters, and other service vendors will have access to needed water and electricity to perform their work.
Just a little rental management tip here, from Far West Property Management, where our clients ARE our business, and we are always Taking Care of Business!
If any of this has been helpful, and you’d like to know more, call Dave at Far West Property Management today at 928-772-9400 He’s always happy to help.