Can the energy company force me to pay someone else's bill?

Asked over 3 years ago - Osceola, IA

I was renting a house with a few roommates and the electric bill was in one of their names. He failed to pay the bill, moved out and never canceled it. When I called, the company refused to transfer service or tell me how much the bill was because I was not him. It was winter so they never disconnected it on their own either. When they finally did disconnect it I called to have it put in my name and they said I had to pay the other bill. After multiple upsetting calls where I refused to pay it and in turn was made to feel guilty and put down; I finally just said whatever. I just wanted my power back on. I paid what I used this month but not that bill and they are turning it off again if I dont. Can they really hold me accountable simply because "I lived there" after all this?

Additional information

To clarify the ex- roommate was fully aware the bill was still in his name and overdue. I asked him to take care of this a number of times.

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Pamela Koslyn

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Yes. It's not that you lived there, it's, as you acknowledge, at least some of this debt is rightfully yours, regardless of whose name was on the account.

    Maybe you already paid your account-holding roommate your share and he kept the money. Sue him for his share, and sue any other roommates who didn't pay their share, in Small Claims court.

    PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE YOU COMMENT, EMAIL ME OR PHONE ME. I'm only licensed in CA. This answer doesn't make me... more

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