Can a landlord continue to make you pay for gasand electric if you break your lease and leave early?

UPDATED: Apr 6, 2011

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Can a landlord continue to make you pay for gasand electric if you break your lease and leave early?

I am moving to a new rental space and I have 3 months left on my current the lease. I know that I still have to pay rent but I will not use any utilities. So why do I have to leave them on?

Asked on April 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The issue is probably in whose name the utilities are. If they are in the landlord's name but you have to pay them, then you don't have a right to have them disconnected; if the lease merely provides that you pay for the utilities, you don't have any control over the account and only over your own usage (i.e. if you're no longer there, the utilities should be lower).

If you are the actual account holder on the utilities, then you should be able to have them turned off, though reasonable and proper would be to coordinate with the landlord. If you don't take that reasonable step and some damage is done due to the shut off, you could find yourself liable. In this instance, best would be for the landlord to take over the utilities from you.

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