Can I Put My Electric Bill In Someone Else's Name?
Nobody likes bills, but unfortunately, we have to deal with them and make sure to pay them. However, making changes to your bill or updating your agreement is easier said than done. So, can you put your electric bill in someone else’s name?
The electric bill must be in the name of the property owner or someone residing in the house or apartment. If you reside with someone who isn’t documented as living at that address, it’s illegal to put a bill in their name. Contact the utility provider to switch the electric bill to the name of a legal resident of the home.
All that it takes is a phone call as long as everything checks out with the lease. Follow along as we explore what you can do to put your electric bill in someone else’s name.
Does Your Electric Bill Have To Be In Your Name?
You generally need to have electric and other utility bills in your name, and most landlords require that. If your name is on the lease, you should put your name on the electric bill. However, some leases have multiple tenants, and it’s okay for any of them to put their name on it.
In that case, you or any of your roommates can put the electric bill in their name without a problem. You can also put the electric bill in someone else’s name if it’s a spouse or relative that is on the list even if they don’t pay rent. The most important thing is that the electric bill must be in the name of someone that is officially on the lease agreement.
Allowing someone to live in a house without being on a lease is one of the things a landlord cannot do. Either way, it is nice to have the electric bill in your name if the utility company reports to credit bureaus. This can help you maintain good credit and even grow it over time with consistent payments each month.
NOTE: It is also legal to put an electric bill in someone else’s name if they don’t live there but are on the lease. This is common for parents that are on their older children’s lease, and it is perfectly okay to do. However, you can only put the bill in a third party’s name if they are officially on the lease.
How Do I Transfer Utilities To Someone Else’s Name?
You can transfer your electric bill to someone else’s name if you contact the service provider directly. The other person can’t switch their name over unless the person whose name is on the bill takes their name off of it. All that you need to do is call the provider and inform them that you want to take your name off of the bill.
Make sure to inform the electric company that someone else at your residence is putting their name on the bill. They may inquire to see if the new name is someone that is on the lease, and they can deny service if they aren’t. However, landlords will almost certainly take issue if you put the bill in someone’s name that doesn’t live there.
One benefit of this is that you may get your deposit back from the electric company if they made you pay one initially. As long as the new name is an official roommate, you can switch the electric bill to their name with a quick phone call.
How To Change Name On Electric Bill
Before you call the electric company, make sure that you know your account number and associated phone number or email. They will ask you each of these things before they put a new name on the account.
1. Call Electric Company
Call the electric company and let them know that you intend to change the name on the electric bill. Find out if you need to have the other party present on the call, and if so, call back with them. They often require that the new person registers their name and payment method the same day that you cancel yours.
2. Cancel Payment
Now, tell them that you wish to cancel the payment and take your name off of the bill. They may not let you do this if you just started on a billing cycle, but every company is different. Provide your name, username, and account information so that they can pull up your account.
They may ask you your social security information, address, or security questions to verify your identity. Brush up on all of these things before you call so that it’s easy to switch the account holder information over to the new holder.
3. Set Up New Account
This step doesn’t involve you at all and is up to the new account holder. Coordinate with the person that is putting their name on the account so that you can switch it over on the same day. This will prevent any fees and penalties that come with breaking your agreement.
You may receive your deposit back if the electric company made you pay one to set up an account. Some electric companies include deposits that you pay over a 5-6 month period, and you can get it back when you cancel. However, they won’t reimburse you for your deposit if you violated your contract with missed or late payments.
Can You Put an Electric Bill Under Two Names?
You can put electric and utility bills under two names, and it is common for married couples. It is easier if both residents have a joint bank account to pay the bill every month, or automatically take it. Otherwise, you can alternate payments, but it’s easier to have one form of payment on file.
Joint bank accounts are common in marriages, and you can pay bills and even mortgage payments with them. However, make sure that you put both names on all bills that you pay from your joint bank account. This is to keep clean, accurate, and file your tax return the next tax season.
When Should I Switch Utilities?
Switch your electric bill to someone else’s name before the next billing period begins. Refer to your utility agreement and see when one billing period ends and the next starts. You’ll need to either link a new debit or credit card to the account or mail-in payments with a check.
However, you need to switch your utilities over 2-3 weeks before you move if you are changing residences. This will prevent you from paying utility bills for a home that you don’t live at anymore. Of course, you can only do this if you’ve already purchased a home and made a down payment, or if you signed a lease.
Can I Pay Someone Else’s Bill?
In theory, you can pay someone else’s electrical bill, but just make sure you’re doing so legally. If you’re paying the bill to help them out financially, then you aren’t doing anything wrong. You give them the money. They pay the bill with your money. Perfectly legal.
What is illegal is using someone else’s bank account or signing their name to a check in order to pay a bill. This is also known as identity fraud.
How to Deal with Identity Fraud
If someone uses your name to pay for their bills, then, you’ve become a victim of identity fraud instead of the other way around. Should this happen to you, the best thing to do is act quickly using the following steps.
- Contact your service providers. Call your bank, credit card companies, and electric provider to inform them of the situation. Ask them to stop all transactions right away.
- Check additional compromised sources. It’s highly possible that more than one component has been compromised. Extend your search to all bank accounts, safety deposit boxes, credit cards, and other sources that contain your personal information.
- Sift through your bank account. Most bank accounts alert you to suspicious activity they notice on your account. However, if the person is discrete enough, things in your account might go unnoticed. Check through your bank account for any unauthorized withdrawals and purchases.
- Check for viruses on your device. If your identity was stolen online, it’s possible your device has a virus that corrupted the system. Use anti-virus software to see if this is the case. If you can’t find anything, have an expert check your device.
- Gather your IDs or other forms of identification. In order to resume transactions with your service provider, they’ll need proof of your identification. Make sure the service provider can ensure your identity’s safety before resuming transactions with them.
- File a police report. This is one of the best ways to catch the culprit from stealing another person’s identity.
Summing It Up
You can put your electric bill in someone else’s name, but only if the other party consents to it. It is only possible if you contact your electric company and provide them with your account information. Some electric companies only let you change the bill over if you’re right at the end or at the beginning of the billing period.
They typically ask you to verify your account information which includes your address, phone number, email address, and security questions. Next, the new account holder will have to add a payment method for the company to keep on file. Make sure that they add their information the same day that you take your name off of the bill.
You can also add a name to your electric bill if it is a joint account you share with a spouse. It is easy to change the name on your electric bill, and all that it takes is a phone call.
Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.
More by Nick Durante