Electricity still connected

Hi, I had a tenant move out of one of my properties a few weeks ago. The power was still connected. This was great as it helped with the renovations that i did. But now I've come to the realisation that the new tenants which move in next week may not bother to sign the power into their own name etc. I don't know if the last tenant cancelled the power or what? I'll talk to my PM about this..

Does anyone know if the power is left on nowadays after some one cancels their account?, A person I work with reckons that nowadays the power isn't cut off at all. Any advice?

I'm in South Australia btw
You'll find there's a bit of delay between someone killing their account and the power actually being disconnected.

The new tenants will (or should) realise that if they don't connect in their own names, there is a real possiblity of power suddenly getting disconnected.


The Y-man
Hi Pete

If the tenant moved out 'a few weeks ago' then they have forgotten to have the final reading and the power disconnected.

Apart from you using power which will be charged to them, we have had two experiences of similar things happening

We had the power connected - well, we asked for power to be connected - immediately on settlement. This took about a week with numerous phone calls to the supply company, emails and after a lot of messing about the power was connected a week after settlement.

Luckily for us, we weren't moving in, just wanted power for a few jobs, to check appliances etc

We then emailed and phoned to have the power disconnected. The power company didn't disconnect and the tenant didn't have the account changed to her name or connect to a new supplier. We found this out only when we received a bill for nearly $300 about two months later.

We could not get the tenant to provide details of which supply company she had supposedly connected with, so paid the bill and rang and and sent more emails to the supply company

Eventually, when this tenant was evicted about eighteen months later for non-payment of rent the Tribunal awarded us reimbursement, but fat lot of good it did us. She never paid the rent and never paid the electricity account, either.

At my Daughter's property, again supply was transferred and we certainly notified the supply company of a disconnection date, which they didn't do. Again, the incoming tenant never arranged for supply, but this time the bill, for one person in a two bedroom flat, came to nearly $800 for two months electricity.

That was a most unpleasant episode trying to deal with an hysterical and manipulative tenant but eventually after providing a copy of the lease, sworn statements etc we got the supply company to agree that my Daughter was not responsible for the account.

Eventually that tenant, too, was evicted for non-payment of rent.

So do the right thing and do it now. Have the meter read and the supply disconnected immediately. Go and check that the power is off. Contact the previous tenant and reimburse them a pro-rata amount based on the number of days in the billing period and the number of days since they left. There will be an 'average useage' calculation on the bill.

It is a problem when we want to get a few jobs done inbetween tenants, but it is most important to not create or prolong messy situations.

What was a simple task - connect and disconnect electricity supply to the property - became an absolute bun fight which went on for months.

So get it sorted as soon as you can

Electricity stays on for some time even if it is 'disconnected'. Just getting it connected in a new name will trigger a final/initial meter read but no guarantees what day they do it on.

We've just got ours disconnected after the place being vacant for quite some time and they haven't read the meter for almost a year. We had 3 quarterly estimated bills in a row so were in credit. Booked an appointment for a final read, then got 3 electricity bills in quick succession (as in, single digit days apart) for $400, 200 and then 120 in credit. Personally I would have preferred the $400 and I still have no idea how their billing works.

I've been chasing them for about 3 weeks now trying to get the $120 credit. They credited my bank account with it last week and then debited it back 3 days later, none of their operators know what to do, the computer doesn't explain the situation, they don't understand, they never ring back, and this whole 'we'll do it on Thursday' doesn't wash with me as a Thursday just passed and no money. Very irritating as I have another electricity bill for the same period to pay and having money appear and then promptly disappear in my account is EXTREMELY rude.

When I first bought the house the previous tenants (how they lived there with no hot water service is beyond me) had managed to clock up $2000 of electricity use without being signed up to an account. I got that bill with my initial read (yes, one person can use $2000 of electricity in 1 week :rolleyes: ) and just had to supply all the sale documents to get it sorted out back to a nice $50 bill including connection fee.
Over many years, we have always found that (in Brisbane) the electricity is read when the tenant moves out, but not turned off for several weeks.

Because we often do things between tenants, we don't rely on the power being left on, so have generally applied to have it put into our name, and read again when we are finished. It costs very little to do this, but if a floor sander is coming in, we definitely make sure we don't rely on the power company leaving it on, and we put it in our name.

However, from our calls to the power company after a tenant abandoned a house my mum has, it appears they did plan to actually turn the power off, except that the chap they sent out said someone was in the yard, so they didn't do it that day. Mum could not get a firm answer from the power company about whether it was a phone call to connect up again, or if it would be a more expensive call out.

Perhaps the power companies are getting sick of reading the meter but allowing a period of grace before turning the power off, having someone keep using it whilst standing floors etc, and then not being able to get that money from "anybody".

A friend was recently placed in the ridiculous situation of having the power company chap call around to check the power to the house as it had been empty for a couple of months (?). The house was only a couple of years old and he checked everything but the remote to the garage wouldn't work without power and she didn't have the key to the roller door to raise it manually. She asked if he could turn the power on long enough to press the remote to open up so he could check the power. NO!!

He left, she rebooked for a certain time a few days later. Chap turned up early while she was in a towel and left before she could run to the door. Nice call centre lady got on to him and he returned and turned on the power for long enough to press the remote to raise the door and allow him to check the power. I think sometimes with these service chaps that the power goes to their heads.
We are in Brisbane and actually checked out this scenario a year or two ago when we last bought a property.

We were told that when a person rings up to disconnect the power, the meter is read and a final account is issued to them. The power is left on until the next person registers for connection.

HOWEVER, when the meter is read at the next scheduled reading, if the power is not connected in anyone's name (or if the meter cannot be read for any reason) then the power is physically cut off.

So it could happen that the meter is read the day after the previous person disconnected, in which case it would be cut off within a matter of days. Or, if you were lucky, it could be a couple of months before the meter is read, in which case you could have free power for up to 90 days.

One for the gamblers......(we connected the power immediately as we wanted to do some work)!!
Thanks for your rresponses.

I'll talk to the PM on Monday, I'm sure she'll be able to work something out. The previous tenant is renting another property with the same PM - so I'd say if he's tried to do a runner etc (he's not all there), she'll be able to send him the bill.

I had the impression that either the power was read when he moved out and what ever power I used during the reno will cost me something - and sent to 'the resident' of such and such address. Or that maybe all the power to date is still in his name - in which case I'm happy to pay a percentage based on the time it was vacant and being reno'd.

I know with my other property, a notice was left in the electricity box when they vacated.. so I don't know.
Over many years, we have always found that (in Brisbane) the electricity is read when the tenant moves out, but not turned off for several weeks.

in nsw the power isn't turned off after "disconnection". if the meter is obviously moving a couple of weeks later (up to a couple of months) then the elec co will send a "to the occupant - please contact us" letter.

if still not connected as another period, then the power will be turned off.

i gather it is the same in sth aust as we got one of those "please contact us" letters when living down there - i wasn't sure if hubby's work had "connected" the power or not as it was a company provided rental.