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    ConEd bill problem

    Hello,

    When I moved into my apartment two years ago, I did not understand that I was supposed to set up an account with ConEd. I thought my landlord was taking care of the utilities (her family lives in the building).

    This weekend, my landlord texted me to call ConEd. It turns out they have not been billing my apartment, which means I now suddenly owe them several thousand dollars, for my electricity consumption the past few years.

    I have not been careful about my consumption, because, again, I thought my landlord was covering utilities. I left lights on and used an electric space heater, which, looking back, I would not have done, if I had been confronted with the bill every month.

    I realize now that I was being naive. But this is my first apartment and I honestly did not understand that I was supposed to set up the electricity billing myself.

    So my questions:
    -Is anyone else in the wrong here? Or am I just really stupid?
    -I cannot afford to pay the full bill. I will probably set up a payment plan with ConEd. Is it smarter to do that, or to charge the whole thing on a credit card, and pay the credit card bill in installments? Would that be better for my credit? I don't know how this works.

    Any response will be much appreciated!!

    #2
    There are two sides to this question.

    On the one side you used the electricity and the question of who you thought was paying the bills is mute. Own up to it, talk to Coned and see if they will work with you given the unique situation.

    The other side of this is that if you honestly thought that the utilities were included in the rent, then that needs to be addressed with the landlord. If you didn't set-up an account with ConEd then you are not responsible for the charges, at least from what i've been reading. It's the landlord's responsibility to have the power shut off to the unit so that you have to establish an account with ConEd. Also, ConEd should have caught this oversight sight long before this and given you notice or turned the power off.

    I don't know all of the circumstances surrounding your situation and I'm on the fence as to what to actually do in this situation. If you don't pay the utilities, whether your obligated or not, then the power is going to be turned off. If you never had a contract with ConEd, I don't know how they could bill you for the usage. In theory you could move out and leave the landlord with the bill and lesson about turning off the power before a tenant moves in.

    Like I said I don't know everything involved with the situation (i.e. rental contract, local laws, etc.) so my advice can't really be specific.

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you for responding. I still have a few questions, for you or anyone who cares to reply.

      I did have to set up an account with ConEd, so that they don't turn the power off now.

      But like you said, they should have caught this oversight a while ago. Why are they only reaching out now, two years later?

      I'm in Brooklyn, if that helps. I don't know where to look for more information.

      You say, "If you never had a contract with ConEd, I don't know how they could bill you for the usage." Legally?

      Comment


        #4
        I don't know anything about NY laws specifically, and I'm definitely no lawyer, but i do work with contracts all day... and if you didn't have a legal contract with ConEd, then I don't see how, legally, they could bill you for the previous utilities used. I certainly see how they could bill the landlord who owns the building, but as someone stated before, you had no real binding contract with ConEd. It's not your problem that they failed to turn off the utilities when there was no contract in place. Of course, courts can sometimes be subjective on this sort of thing, so I wouldn't bank on it without consulting legal advice.

        Comment


          #5
          Have you re-read your contract with the landlord? It must say something about who is to pay utilities. It does seem odd to me, too, that the landlord is only just now telling you that you were supposed to be paying. I think the landlord would have been getting the bills if you weren't...unless they were never taken out of the previous tenant's name.
          "There is some ontological doubt as to whether it may even be possible in principle to nail down these things in the universe we're given to study." --text msg from my kid

          "It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men." --Frederick Douglass

          Comment


            #6
            A Few Very Important Lessons/Fact

            Good Evening,

            I urge you to read, then re-read, then re-read again my reply to your thread. It will not be easy. I pull no punches. Without confirming my occupation, I will tell you I am a resident of NY and am in the "legal" profession. That said, I offer no legal advice, no service of legal guidance nor do I support my reply with any legal reference in any way shape or form:

            1. Since you thought the landlord paid the electric bill, you were not careful about your consumption?!?!?? How dare you? How absolutely selfish and reckless you were. "Hey, it's not my money, so who cares". Let this be a lesson to you. And also, those who do not pay their utility bills, much like insurance fraud, cost us ethical users higher fees, rates, etc. I mean no disrespect toward you, but please learn from this error in judgment how prescious your money and integrity is;

            2. If you signed a lease of rent (rental agreement either month to month or covering a specific period of time) and it did not specifically spell out which, if any utilities you were responsible for along with applicable address, apartment number, etc. to switch said utility from the landlords or previous tenents name into yours, you are under no obligation to pay. If you consumed power during this time frame, then the existing account is responsible, again, landlord or previous tenant;

            3. If said account was not established between you and ConEd until now, you are under no obligation to pay previous "damages". They cannot retro past charges to your current account, nor can they go after you to pay previous charges on an account that was never placed in your name;

            4. Finally, and not in relation to this specific issue, never use your credit card to pay anything that you can't pay off within the time frame allowed to alleviate interest. Unless, of course, what you are paying off has a higher interest rate that your card.

            Good luck but remember, take care to conserve, we all win when you do!

            Comment


              #7
              -Is anyone else in the wrong here? Or am I just really stupid?
              -I cannot afford to pay the full bill. I will probably set up a payment plan with ConEd. Is it smarter to do that, or to charge the whole thing on a credit card, and pay the credit card bill in installments? Would that be better for my credit? I don't know how this works.

              Have you reviewed your lease/contract with the landlord? Does it require you to pay utilities? Did you cal Con Ed to ask what arrangements can be made to make monthly payments? Does your unit have it's own meter? How did they determine how much electricity you used? Naivety doesn't excuse you from paying what you owe.

              Comment

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