What to do if my landlord wants to make me leave utilities on in the unit after my lease expires?

UPDATED: Aug 31, 2011

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What to do if my landlord wants to make me leave utilities on in the unit after my lease expires?

I am moving out of a rental unit and the landlord has sent me a move out packet that states that I must leave the utilities on in the unit for 3 days after I move out or they will take it out of my deposit with a few service fees. I did not see anything about this in the lease, is that legal? Also, how can I claim that something is damaged or worn due to normal wear and tear that they want me to replace, like the drip pans on a stove?

Asked on August 31, 2011 Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You are wise to have read your written lease for the unit you are occupying in that its terms control your obligations to the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

If your lease says nothing about you leaving the utilities that are presumably in your name on, then you have no obligation to do so. Make sure you call the utility companies about taking your name off of the utilities by a set date and follow up with written correspondence to that effect.

Likewise, a landlord under all state laws and decisions cannot claim reimbursement for something resulting from normal wear and tear. Such claims are typical of a landlord at the lease's end to extract more money from the tenant and where the worn out item is not replaced by the landlord.

Good luck.

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