Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Pennsylvania

My lease on an apartment ended july 31. I mailed my keys back but around august 7th or 8th I believe I realized I had never switched the electricity over back to the landlord. I paid an additional amount of 17 dollars for the month of august but there is still a 4.10 balance. During the initial mail back of the keys they got lost somehow in the mail. I approached the post office but they couldn't offer me much help. So the administrative person for the landlord said they would have to deduct some money from my security deposit which they did. I've tried asking the landlord to pay for the electricity but he says it's my job to pay since it was in my name and the electric company said they couldn't back date the bill. I say the landlord should pay because as of the 31 I was no longer in the apartment I was leased under and not using the electricity. Nor was I ever at the apartment after the 31. The landlord has been giving me the run around for a couple weeks with not really returning phone calls and just beating around the bush. Is it my responsibility or the landlords to pay for the electricity?

Asked on 9/14/13, 5:57 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Miriam Jacobson Law Offices of Miriam N. Jacobson
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Think about the big picture. You could have saved some of your hassle by handing over the keys to the landlord or the property manager and getting a receipt.

As for the electricity - again, you forgot to cancel the account in your name.

Is it really worth a legal fight over $4.10?

Make a formal written request for return of the balance of the security deposit, send it certified mail, return receipt requested, and also by regular mail. You should also ask for a detailed accounting of how the landlord arrived at any deductions from the security deposit, because you are entitled to that calculation. Then if the landlord doesn't respond and refund the rest of your security deposit, look into legal action to get the deposit and any penalty you are entitled to for the landlord's refusal to return it in the prescribed time.


* If the answers to your question confirm that you have a valid issue or worthwhile claim, your next step should almost always be to establish a dialog with a lawyer who can provide specific advice to you. Contact a lawyer in your county or township.

* Another reason for contacting a lawyer is that it is often impossible to give a good answer in the Internet Q&A format without having more information. The unique circumstances of your situation and things that you may not have thought to mention in your question may completely change the answer. If you want to be sure that you have a complete answer to your question and an understanding of what that answer means, establish a connection with a lawyer who practices in the area of your concern.

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Answered on 9/14/13, 7:57 pm

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