electricity - setting up accounts? - Posted by rachel

Posted by rachel on November 23, 2008 at 08:47:35:

Thanks. It is getting cold here - I’m in TX. Hopefully, the weather here is
not too much of a problem. Appreciate your input!

electricity - setting up accounts? - Posted by rachel

Posted by rachel on November 22, 2008 at 18:52:04:

Hi everyone,

I’d like to check to see what everyone is doing here when they buy mobiles -
do you set up your own acct for electricity with the electric company?

I’m running into a problem - the deposits are huge to set up an electricity
acct. Once I find a buyer, they set up their own account for the electricity and
my account gets closed and I get the deposit back from the electric company.

One park manager, told me to check with the electric company to see if they
can just connect service for a few days for me - this is for me to make ready
and clean up, and just charge a flat fee - something like $50-$75.

Any input anyone has would help. Appreciate it!

Rachel

Re: electricity - setting up accounts? - Posted by mike barlow

Posted by mike barlow on November 25, 2008 at 05:31:14:

We are able to do what they call "Automatic Reinstatement’ with the
electric company. When the tenant moves out the electric is
automatically switched to our name for no charge or for no extra
deposit (no deposit at all to us) and we just pay for what electricity we
use until the new tenant moves in and takes it out of our name.

Last year we kept the vacant homes heated with propane and it cost
us a fortune ($2.65 per gallon). This year we are winterizing the
homes. leaving the electric as above, and hoping we can sell those cold
frigid homes.

Re: electricity - setting up accounts? - Posted by Beck

Posted by Beck on November 22, 2008 at 19:40:35:

Rachel,

I would just check out Craigs list and buy a generator. Actually I got
tired of the electric bills and deposits myself, so that’s exactly what I
did. You can buy a half way decent portable generator for abut 400
bucks and never again turn the juice on at any home you buy.

Don’t let B take over YOUR acct - Posted by John Merchant

Posted by John Merchant on November 23, 2008 at 10:51:33:

A word of advice here…even if you have to open your own Elec. Account in order to do the rehab to your MH, do NOT just let your Buyer take it over and then have you still on that account.

Here’s why:

If B has to set up his own acct with the Elec. Co. and then gets delinquent with them so as to have the Elec. Co. cut off his/here electricity, that is a violation of your city/county health code, probably (can’t legally live in a residence in city or county w/o electricity where I live).

And if your B ever gets seriously delinquent with his Elec. bill, and has his elec. cut off, and you learn of it, a simple phone call to your Health Dept will get that Health Inspector out there with a cop to forcibly remove that buyer from that MH.

I only know this because it happened to me and I got the intense pleasure of watching as a cop and HI knocked on a tenant’s door and ordered the tenant out, NOW and then I got to watch that T leave.

She meekly handed me the keys on her way out and asked me, ever so nicely (!) if I’d be willing to let her back in to get her things.

If you’re still on the Elec. Co. acccount and then YOU have to turn off her elec. current at the box, she could sue YOU and cause you a lot of grief…probably illegal for you to do that, whereas it’s clearly NOT illegal for the HI and police to order the Tenant to leave if they find Elec. turned off.

Re: electricity - setting up accounts? - Posted by rachel

Posted by rachel on November 23, 2008 at 08:41:58:

The generator sounds like a good idea. I’m going to look into it. These
deposits are getting ridiculous…thanks for your help!

Re: electricity - setting up accounts? - Posted by Tony Colella

Posted by Tony Colella on November 23, 2008 at 07:18:53:

We are finding that electric companies are beginning to charge everyone large deposits, even landlords who only have the accounts on for a few days or a month (even with good credit and a long history of on time payments with the company).

The idea of using a portable generator had its place (I did it all winter in one move and complete rehab of a doublewide). The issue you may run into in winter (depending on where you live) is that you will need some heat source to keep pipes from freezing and allow you to have work done and show the home.

Not a bad idea so long as the time frame is limited.

Tony

Re: electricity - setting up accounts? - Posted by WAMobiles

Posted by WAMobiles on November 24, 2008 at 18:38:33:

Electricity isn’t the only source of heat. I’ve used radiant kerosene heaters during the winter time and have been very happy with it. If I’m worried about the water pipes freezing I’ll turn the water off until I show it and then drain the line when I’m done.

Jeff

Re: electricity - setting up accounts? - Posted by rachel

Posted by rachel on November 23, 2008 at 08:45:18:

The deposits are really getting out of hand - I just paid $240 for one
and another one coming up the deposit is $125 - it’s crazy!

I’m going to look into the generator idea. Hope it’s not too much of a
problem here, it is getting chilly - I’m in TX.

Thanks for your help!

Re: electricity - setting up accounts? - Posted by Beck

Posted by Beck on November 23, 2008 at 07:26:40:

I agree. I wasn’t exactly sure where she was writing from. If she’s in
Florida or Georgia or texas somewhere, than the pipes freezing is not a
concern. Up here in Cleveland, I have my guys winterize the home as
soon as we get it while the previous tenants electricity is still on. It’s
not a perfect system, but it drastically reduces our costs by winterizing
the homes and then using the generator for fix ups.

Re: electricity - setting up accounts? - Posted by Tony Colella

Posted by Tony Colella on November 25, 2008 at 04:51:39:

Whatever works… works.

Frozen pipes, even when the water is turned off can freeze and split plumbing which can be a nightmare once you turn the power on but I do understand, you have to do what you have to do to keep costs down, get the home repaired and shown to potential renters.

I have tried just about all of the above too include propaine style heaters while working in the home. Its not perfect but it does warm things up while working. I took them with me when I left and the home was without heat or power.

Generators ran the power tools while I was there but again, I took that with me with I left the property. The generator is kind of a pain but again, as all have mentioned, you do what you have to do. If there isn’t cold weather there really isn’t too much to worry about.

Tony

Re: electricity - setting up accounts? - Posted by Lin (NC)

Posted by Lin (NC) on November 26, 2008 at 15:01:45:

Take the deposits into account when you accept your tenants. They will have to come up with the deposit upon move-in. This utility deposit limits the amount you can expect, and you’d better know what your competition is expecting from their tenants, otherwise you’ll lose business to them.

Lin