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Leaving rental before end of the 60 days termination - who pays hydro etc?

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  • Oct 22nd, 2012 6:38 am
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[OP]
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Mar 12, 2010
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Leaving rental before end of the 60 days termination - who pays hydro etc?

I'm having trouble finding the details on this scenerio.

We rent a townhouse from a relatively large property management company. We gave notice to terminate lease today, last day of rental is Dec 31st. We might be out as soon as Dec 1st, so I asked how they handle that. I would obviously assume a lost of last month's rent (unless they rented it out early), but I asked about handing the keys in early and how they would handle that in regards to the hydro (that we pay) and the rental water heater (that we pay). They said we would be responsible for the property (including hydro, water heater rental, and insurance) until the 31st. If we hand the keys in early they would come in and start the prep work to rent it out again. Does this seem right? If we leave early, are we actually responsible for more than the rent itself? Doesn't seem right that they would be in here doing work using the hydro that WE are paying for...

We aren't moving far away, so if we move early we could just shut off the breaker to make the power cost at a minimum. It still seems odd to me...

Anyone have or can point me to the proper documents for this?

Thanks! :)
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May 9, 2009
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I'm no expert, but if you're still responsible for the property until the 31st, you don't have to let them in to start to prep work. They can't have their cake and eat it too.

If they want to work on the townhouse prior to the 31st, then they should be responsible for the utilities (and maybe even the rent too). Otherwise, they don't go in until January.
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Jul 31, 2011
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I agree with above poster. You should have some sort of agreement to pay part of hydro charges and get the hell out of there.
Otherwise don't let them enter till 31st and problem solved. You both want the advantage by leaving early but without compromise.
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[OP]
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psyko514 wrote:
Oct 18th, 2012 5:57 pm
I'm no expert, but if you're still responsible for the property until the 31st, you don't have to let them in to start to prep work. They can't have their cake and eat it too.

If they want to work on the townhouse prior to the 31st, then they should be responsible for the utilities (and maybe even the rent too). Otherwise, they don't go in until January.
Exactly. If we are paying full hydro absolutely we won't be handing the keys back untill the last day. It seems odd though, as if we were moving further away, we'd still be responsible for the rental place here even after we hand the keys back to them? How could you be responsible for it when they have the keys? Most insurance companies probably won't like it either (then again, what would we have to insure since our contents would be gone.

They basically told me it was my choice to let them come in early to start work, and said that if they then rented it out early then we'd get the money back for rent. Chance of them renting it out that quickly when there are other vacant units around are pretty slim IMO...

Looks like we will just play their game, and keep the keys, unless I find somewhere else that we wouldn't be responsible for hydro if we leave early...
manmanny wrote:
Oct 18th, 2012 6:12 pm
I agree with above poster. You should have some sort of agreement to pay part of hydro charges and get the hell out of there.
Otherwise don't let them enter till 31st and problem solved. You both want the advantage by leaving early but without compromise.
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May 14, 2007
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I'm a former Ottawa Hydro employee that dealt with this situation all the time. If the utilities are in your name, it's easy - you call the electric/gas/whatever company and give them your move-out date. They take a final reading on that date and give you a final bill. You are not responsible beyond that.
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It takes both sides to terminate a tenancy early. You want to leave, they want to hold you to the term. Just giving the keys to the landlord equaling 'end of the deal' is an urban myth.

The PM company can come into your unit with proper legal notice. If you stop them, you can be fined by the Ministry of Housing or the PM company can call the police for assistance in making sure the law is followed.

Now I know that sounds harsh, so here's what I would do. Try to talk to the PM company about leaving with short notice. You might be able to negotiate something where you leave with a month's notice, and pay some sort of penalty (such as 2 weeks rent) instead of the full month + utes. This way they will have an empty unit to show (which will make it easier to re-rent) and you save a bunch of money. Sometimes this works.
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ChzPlz wrote:
Oct 18th, 2012 6:34 pm
I'm a former Ottawa Hydro employee that dealt with this situation all the time. If the utilities are in your name, it's easy - you call the electric/gas/whatever company and give them your move-out date. They take a final reading on that date and give you a final bill. You are not responsible beyond that.
Except that trick doesn't work if the landlord takes the tenant to small claims court. The tenant will end up paying.
[OP]
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ChzPlz wrote:
Oct 18th, 2012 6:34 pm
I'm a former Ottawa Hydro employee that dealt with this situation all the time. If the utilities are in your name, it's easy - you call the electric/gas/whatever company and give them your move-out date. They take a final reading on that date and give you a final bill. You are not responsible beyond that.
Thanks.. I just called London Hydro to confirm, and they confirmed what you said. They will cancel our hydro tomorrow if we asked.. Only thing is, depending on the tenancy agreement, she said the company could technically come back and ask us for the money for the hydro to the end of the tenancy.. So I guess I'd have to gamble if they would do that or not. She said it would be best if we had it in writing from them that they will let us out early so they can rent it out. That's something we won't be able to get from them...

So in short, we 'can' do what I wanted to do, but the property management might come after us for more money then. I'm guessing what they would try to get out of us would be more than the base hydro charge if I shut off the main breaker, or at least everything but the furnace set low since it will be winter...
[OP]
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Beeg wrote:
Oct 18th, 2012 6:40 pm
It takes both sides to terminate a tenancy early. You want to leave, they want to hold you to the term. Just giving the keys to the landlord equaling 'end of the deal' is an urban myth.

The PM company can come into your unit with proper legal notice. If you stop them, you can be fined by the Ministry of Housing or the PM company can call the police for assistance in making sure the law is followed.

Now I know that sounds harsh, so here's what I would do. Try to talk to the PM company about leaving with short notice. You might be able to negotiate something where you leave with a month's notice, and pay some sort of penalty (such as 2 weeks rent) instead of the full month + utes. This way they will have an empty unit to show (which will make it easier to re-rent) and you save a bunch of money. Sometimes this works.
Beeg wrote:
Oct 18th, 2012 6:41 pm
Except that trick doesn't work if the landlord takes the tenant to small claims court. The tenant will end up paying.
thanks.. you posted while I was typing. What you are saying is what I'm finding out. We aren't stopping them from combing in to look, but I'm not paying for hydro so they can renovate or whatever they want to do. That's a different story. We will just pretend for them that we are still living here till dec 31st, and it won't be a problem. They seem unwilling to compromise (when they don't have to. Can't really blame them). just trying to save a few bucks if it was easily done. Looks like it's not. They also have other vacant units around that are the same as ours. So there is no incentive. Typically what I've seen happen around here, is the tenant moves out at end of lease, then they work on the place for a month or so, then rent it out. I actually haven't heard of them showing units that are still occupied. Too much hassle for them to notify people it seems. Especially when there are usually always at least a few empty units.
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Beeg wrote:
Oct 18th, 2012 6:40 pm
It takes both sides to terminate a tenancy early. You want to leave, they want to hold you to the term. Just giving the keys to the landlord equaling 'end of the deal' is an urban myth.

The PM company can come into your unit with proper legal notice. If you stop them, you can be fined by the Ministry of Housing or the PM company can call the police for assistance in making sure the law is followed.

Now I know that sounds harsh, so here's what I would do. Try to talk to the PM company about leaving with short notice. You might be able to negotiate something where you leave with a month's notice, and pay some sort of penalty (such as 2 weeks rent) instead of the full month + utes. This way they will have an empty unit to show (which will make it easier to re-rent) and you save a bunch of money. Sometimes this works.
Surely there must be limitations or regulations on what constitutes a valid reason for entering the unit?

What if the tenant was staying until December 31? The PM couldn't serve notice saying they required access as of December 1 to renovate with water/power being on the tenant's dime, right?
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Aug 20, 2005
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So what does your tenancy agreement say about hydro? If it isn't specifically addressed, I would cancel it when I moved out. I have moved out of several apartments early and have always cancelled my utilities the day I moved out as I was moving the account to a new location. You also mentioned insurance? What insurance are you paying? You should only have contents insurance and once your contents are out, there is nothing to insure there. Again you would change your policy to your new home.
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Cheap Cat wrote:
Oct 18th, 2012 11:29 pm
So what does your tenancy agreement say about hydro? If it isn't specifically addressed, I would cancel it when I moved out. I have moved out of several apartments early and have always cancelled my utilities the day I moved out as I was moving the account to a new location.
Oh right.

What if you were happy in your place and suddenly there wasn't any heat.
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Jan 8, 2011
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Beeg wrote:
Oct 18th, 2012 6:49 pm
That's correct. You 'can' break the law, play some tricks, and hope it won't come back to bite you later.
Beeg - you need to remove your "Landlord and Tenant Board" avatar, I've seen enough of your posts to conclude you are simply a shill for landlords looking to drive traffic to your site.

Some of you post are correct but many are one sided.
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Backlight wrote:
Oct 19th, 2012 12:52 pm
Beeg - you need to remove your "Landlord and Tenant Board" avatar, I've seen enough of your posts to conclude you are simply a shill for landlords looking to drive traffic to your site.

Some of you post are correct but many are one sided.
You can say they're one-sided, but all he does is post what the law states. The Residential Tenancies Act is not a difficult or a long read. Everyone that is renting or considering renting should read it and make sure they understand it. Besides, the Landlord and Tenant Board isn't just for landlords, it's to protect tenants as well.

Yes, you can cancel all your utilities at anytime. The utility companies will not force you to hold the accounts in your name until the end of the month. It will automatically default back into the landlords name and he will be charged. At that point, seeing as how you have a lease that specifies who is responsible for the utilities (I'm assuming you do), the landlord can take you to small claims court and recoup their losses. As Beeg has pointed out many times, going to small claims court and collecting money owed is not a difficult process. If the landlord has any knowledge of the law, chances are he's done it before and will do it again.

Communication is always the best way to sort things out. Talk to the landlord, explain that you're concerned about paying for the utilities if they are going to be in there doing a lot of work and hiking up the monthy bill. Ask if you can get a reduction on your last months rent (such as half off) and you will cover the utilities while they are in there working. Or you can ask for even more and try to negotiate down to what I just said. That would really be your best bet. Hoping you don't get taken to court doesn't seem like a very good way of doing things
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