Landlord asking for Electric Bill. How to Respond (Id theft?)

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In summary, the landlord wants the account number from your power provider because it would make it easier for someone to impersonate you and steal your identity. You should try to find a way to contact your landlord directly and ask for an explanation.
  • #1
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Hi All
For some reasons that are not clear to me, my landlord (through one of its reps ) has asked me to give him/her the account number from my power provider . Rep never answered when I asked why it is necessary. Instead, I offered a scanned copy of a recent bill, with the account number blacked out. I mean, this is both a privacy issue, and a security issue; the info about the account number together with some other info on me collected by the super would make it much easier for someone who got hold of it to impersonate me and steal my identity. Not that I have much that can be stolen from me, but it can be a hassle and a waste of time to address any issues of this kind. How can I address this , both diplomatically and legally, i.e., am I obligated to provide the account number (this is NYC , in case that matters).
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  • #2
In NYC, there must be a free service that answers tenant questions, I'd try there, also call the power company and ask if this is something acceptable. He might be concerned that if you aren't paying your bill that the next tenant could have difficulty getting service until they prove you are no longer living there, but I don't know that this gives the landlord the right to check on your bills prior to your moving out.
  • #3
The landlord may be up to something, then again there are logical reasons for him to ask for the account number. I have read about people renting a house or apartment and putting someone else's name on the power bill. They quit paying the bill several months before they move out leaving the landlord stuck with it.
  • #4
I would not have provided any personal information without a reason why.
  • #5
Have you asked your landlord why they want this?
  • #6
To the OP:

You mentioned that the rep from the landlord's office never answered when you asked why the account number for your power provider was necessary. Do you have another way to contact your landlord more directly (a phone number, e-mail address)? I would want to get an explanation of why this information is required before you provide it.
  • #7
Thank you all, I just contacted ( or sent an email, to be exact ) the landlord asking for an explanation. Will follow up as I get an answer.

1. What should I do if my landlord asks for my electric bill?

If your landlord is asking for your electric bill, you should first ask them why they need it. It is important to understand the reason behind their request before responding. If they claim it is for record keeping or verification purposes, you can politely decline and offer to provide other forms of verification such as a copy of your lease agreement or pay stubs.

2. Is it legal for a landlord to ask for my electric bill?

In most cases, it is not illegal for a landlord to ask for your electric bill. However, they cannot force you to provide it if it is not stated in your lease agreement. If you are uncomfortable with sharing this information, you can politely decline and offer alternative forms of verification.

3. Can my landlord use my electric bill to steal my identity?

It is unlikely that your landlord can use your electric bill to steal your identity. The bill typically only contains your name and address, which are not enough information for someone to steal your identity. However, if you are still concerned, you can redact any personal information before providing the bill to your landlord.

4. Should I report my landlord if they ask for my electric bill without a valid reason?

If your landlord is asking for your electric bill without a valid reason, it is important to first understand the reason behind their request. If it is for record keeping or verification purposes, it may not be necessary to report them. However, if you feel uncomfortable or believe they are using it for illegal purposes, you can report them to your state's housing authority or seek legal advice.

5. Can I refuse to pay my electric bill if my landlord is responsible for paying it?

If your lease agreement states that your landlord is responsible for paying the electric bill, you should not refuse to pay it. However, if your landlord is asking for a copy of the bill for their own records, you can politely decline and offer to provide alternative forms of verification.

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