Anonymous,Popular 365 Question

ELECTRIC REPAIR BILL. Tenants do pay their own electrical bill. I can't believe how the ones that have answered can't understand I don't pay their electrical bill. I had to pay to repair electrical, they rent from me.

9 months ago 10


  1. Politically Correct

    If the tenants wanted additional circuits they should have asked you to add them. It sounds as if the kitchen is a little under gunned if they cannot run both a blender and a microwave. You have no obligation to provide additional circuits but if you do, you can increase the rent. That is the conversation to have before the work is done so that the tenant understands that this will cost hi money. He may prefer just to get rid of unnecessary electrical appliances.

    If the tenant just went ahead and put in extra circuits without talking to you, there is absolutely no reason why you should cover the cost. Indeed you are entitled to charge them for the cost of undoing the work although that would probably be stupid.

    The fact that their lights went out when they over loaded the circuit is not your problem. Just show them how to reset the fuse and tell them to be more careful in future.

  2. Heather

    If they were the ones that added the extra circuits in the first place, I'm assuming they broke what would've been a standard contract. It's common sense a tenant would NOT make changes to something that is NOT their property. Thus, if was spelled out in their contract, you would've had cause to evict, maybe? You would NOT be paying their bill -- you would be using the letter in small claims court as proof that you need money to put your house back the way it was; or better yet, get it up to proper electrical code. What should've happened was that you and your tenants should've done an initial walk through so they could've determined whether the house (including electrical, plumbing, etc., etc.) would meet their needs. You also should've got the house up to code BEFOREHAND so this wouldn't have happened. There are places to find a fill-in-the-blank standard lease form as well. Sounds like you jumped right into being a landlord without asking the right questions.

  3. babyboomer1001

    No, you did not have to pay to get the lights on again. All you had to do was flip the breaker, resetting it. You were also not obligated to upgrade the electrical box - add another circuit. Why you agreed to do that - I don 't know but, it was your choice. You had no obligation whatsoever and it is not going to add any value to your house. Your tenants are idiots. Instead of learning what or how much overloads a circuit and not running it all on one circuit, they abused you - and you allowed it. Since you agreed to their unreasonable request, you are stuck with it. There is nothing you can do about it now. If you did not agree to add a circuit and pay for it, then by paying for it, you agreed to it. You allowed yourself to be used as a door mat. Nothing to do now. You should have done something before you agreed to pay for it. Nobody in their right mind needs to run all of those things at once and, certainly, they could have plugged the blender into another outlet and same goes for the computer.

  4. Andi

    2 different problems

    problem 1) Is there enough power anway...
    > TV, computer, microwave & blender
    none of those are particularly high power - the microwave being the most (2Kw max usually)
    the others are all in the 10's or 100's of watts..

    I would expect any apartment to handle 10-20 KW as standard
    So something is under powered here..and needed to be upgraded
    Problem 2)
    Unauthorised changes..
    ALL changes need to be authorised by the landlord
    and carried out by an approved contractor...

    Tenants making changes for themselves (no matter how inconvienient) is their risk and cost
    and if not approved by the landlord - can be asked to be taken out.

    Finally, if the lights blew - it would only be a fuse (refitted/replaced) or a breaker (to be reset)
    Breakers are nice for that, you just press the switch and it is back - and they are safer and more reliable.

    All in all, sounds like it was a house /apartment with a lighting circuit (only)
    being used for appliances... and should always have had some Appliance circuits.
    -> but installed properly by you / your contractor

    if that means rent increases next time around... so be it

  5. William

    They added two circuits? Did they have permission? Did they use a licensed electrician? This is illegal.

    As a landlord, it is a mistake to cover a tenants' electric bills, Landlords these days usually charge the water bill to tenants (one landlord had a foreign couple who did not inform him of a toilet malfunction- he only knew something was wrong because of a water bill for a shocking $2K. From that point on, tenants pay water).

    You either have to give them the heave-ho or have them put the electric in their name. You say YOU paid, but why? How did you get stuck paying the electric bill? You contradicted yourself because you said you had to pay to "get the lights to work again." Do you mean electrical work, or a bill?

    A note: a lot of older houses and apartments have outdated electric wiring and circuits. In general, if it dates from the 50s or earlier (some do), it was never intended for microwaves, TVs, computers, etc. Modern appliances use up much more electricity, and people have more of them. Circuits popping is a common issue.

  6. shipwreck

    People think you pay the electric bill because you said you paid a huge electric bill. The bill you paid wasn't an electric bill but a repair/improvement bill. The tenants shouldn't be contracting for you to pay a bill for something they want. In the future you pick the contractor and discuss with them not with the tenant.
    Now you have an system that is better so they don't keep blowing circuit breakers so that is good. I used to blow one everything I used the microwave and dishwasher at the same time it was irksome.

  7. beSee-n-u

    If the repair was necessitated by an overload created by the tenants, the tenants should be required to pay for the repairs. The landlord would only pay for upgrades, as may be required by local rules pertaining to repairs. For instance, faulty wiring is the landlord's responsibility. Overloading the wiring that was "done to code at the time of installation" is the tenant's fault, assuming the landlord's electrician put in the proper sized fuses/breakers.

  8. Thriver

    I can tell what you were saying. It is sad none of the others can tell. It's not difficult. The tenants blew out fuses, and called you to repair it. So you did, but unfortunately the bill came out to be very high. This was your responsibility, not the tenants; however, there is no need to be running that many things at once. I would just raise their rent to help compensate you paying the bill.

  9. Breezy

    Issue a notice for them to move out & tell them the place needs to be completely updated in wiring, and it certainly sounds like it does. I don't believe they can live there while it's being done. If they want to move back, & you don't mind, raise their rent for their new updated wiring. Update some other things while they are gone too, or get it ready for new tenants. I kind of think they over did it running that many things in an old house at the same time. I don't see a need to run all that at the same time.

  10. Towanda

    Thanks to my BIL who helped me rewire my house...somewhere he put circuits together. I found out late he is a real jerk and will screw you around so messing up the wiring certainly did that. I find that my kitchen circuit and the circuit for my a/c are now connected. That means if the microwave is on and the a/c kicks on, the breaker flips. They each need dedicated circuits obviously. If you rent out a place you cannot expect people to take the care I now have to take in my own home. You need to get the wiring I do. Your place isn't safe and I'll bet you need more than two circuits. I think that you need to put some more $ into your rental. And you can't choose with your accounting whether you expense it or depreciate it. Their are rules for what has to be done.

Leave A Reply

 Prev Questions

Next Questions