Renting an Apartment with your landlord -My landlord-A rental in PA with columbia gas heat and electric

Renting in PA

I was renting an apartment in Bradford, PA and the landlords were stealing my gas and electric to run there computer business.They were also committing welfare fraud, collecting $500 a month in food stamps,received wick and receiving assistance to pay there utilities, although they had a business, owned the house and just purchased a $10,000 vehicle and received rent from me.There are so many laws I never knew about and I believe everyone should know This is a long story of how I came to rent this apartment and the problems some people face when renting.

My husband and I split up for about 6 months and I decided to rent an apartment where a friend of mine lived. His brother and girlfriend owned the apartment and they lived up stares. He had a computer business in the front of the apartment which should have been a red flag. My friend always complained about this, stating he was paying the electric bill to run the business and the gas also. I told him this was illegal, but after all it was his brother. He also made statements about how they were also getting $500 a month in food stamps and selling half of them to his girlfriends sister who works for children and youth services. I am beginning to think everyone in this town just wants everything for nothing. What happened to working for what you have, my mom always taught me to work for what I want, not steal and scam working people out of money.

PA Landlord Tenant Laws regarding utilities

PA tenants rights Act states it is unlawful to charge the tenants for utilities if they are not metered seperately. My friend was also getting assistance to have most his utilities payed for by the state so I assume he was not really worried to much about it because it wasn't coming out of his pocket. This bothered me because his brother was running a business and didn't have to pay any utilities to run it and I work for a living so actually I was paying for his food. At times we would go in the shop and he would have the radio on and the A/C on with no one in there. He didn't care because he didn't have to pay for it. Are gas bill also was running two furnaces, There was one in his shop and one in the back of the apartment, which were both tied to the same bill. I began paying $50 a month for the utilities out of my checking account but was mad every month I payed it.

My friend eventually decided to move in with his parents and left me with the apartment. He was having issues with his brother and the girlfriend. It was around Christmas time of last year. His brother came down wanting to make sure I was still going to rent the apartment for $375 a month, stating all I had to pay was 1 electric bill for the front of the apartment for now because his brother was going to keep the utilities in his name for awhile. I remember thinking to myself yea the one electric bill that is tied to your business.

I woke up one morning to the a water pipe busting in the kitchen and the landlord took a month to fix that. In the mean time I had to wash my dishes in the bathtub. He also just through some drywall up in the kitchen and some wood was thrown together for the kitchen sink and just left it that way.

In the month of April I came home from work and I gas had been turned off for none payment. The gas company stated to my husband, the meters were tied together, there for they could not put the bill in our name. They also found 4 gas leeks and told the landlord he would not turn it back on when the leaks were fixed. It was snowing outside and freezing in the apartment. The landlord stated he would go get an electric heater for us to use. It got to be around 11 at night, I finally told my husband to go see where the heater was. When my husband walked around the front of the house he found it plugged into the landlords business, while we were freezing. I was so mad at this point, I sent him a text asking if he could bring it in our apartment now because it was cold. He brought us one of those Amish heaters claiming it was his gilrfriends fathers and cost like 500 bucks, I told him not to worry if something happened, I had the money to pay for the thing. My mother has one of those heaters and they only cost two hundred and something, so he was lying. The heater didn't put out much heat anyhow. I think there meant for decoration and to use along with another source of heat, not for your main heat.

The leaks were eventually fixed and the landlord switched the bill to there names but informed me I would be paying it. I always believe in paying my own way so I was thinking I didn't mind paying the whole gas bill for the summer because he wasn't using any of the heat for the business, although the gas company informed me I did not have to do this. The first bill came in the month of June. It was for $200 bucks, I was mad because all I was running by this point was one gas hot water tank, but I realized they had estimated the bill, so I figured I would have a credit for the next couple of months. Well, next month came and the landlord stated I owed $50 bucks for the gas bill. I asked to see it and they had a fit stating they knew they would have issues with us paying the bill. They also wanted me to give them cash. I am not stupid. I told them to give me the bill and I would direct draft it out of my checking account. Then they stated never mind they would just take care of it. They also told my husband they were going to put covers over the vents so we would have to put the gas bill in our names. I phoned the gas company and informed them of the landlords plans. Columbia gas stated to me on the phone that this was elligal and they could not just cover the vents, they would have to move the furnace and the control too it in my apartment to make it legal.

A month later the landlord informed me the gas bill had came again, I told them to bring it down so I could pay for it. About a week later they brought me just the bottom portion of the bill. The due date on the bill was also due a week prior and it also stated the bill was for the upstairs apartment. I was very mad an sent the landlords a text stating I was not going to pay there gas bill. I ussume the $200 for the downstairs credited me and they wanted money for there bill also. I had finally had enough of there scamming so I called the electric company and they came down and did an investigation. After there investigation they found that the landlord was in fact using my electric to supply there business and removed my balance from my bill and put it in there name.

I purchased this 5 bedroom home.
I purchased this 5 bedroom home.
This is a pic showing the living room into the dining room and kitchen.
This is a pic showing the living room into the dining room and kitchen.

A few days later I received a letter from the gas company on my front door stating the landlord was turning off my gas, and a couple days later I received an eviction letter from the landlord. I phoned Columbia gas and the representative said they could not do this and it was illegal. They also stated they were sending someone out to investigate. A few days later my gas was turned off. I called Columbia gas again and they said after there investigation the landlords were no longer using my gas. How could this be? My furnice was still in there business along with the control for it. All the landlord did was cover up the vents or hide them from the gas company and that made it legal.

I called code enforcement. Code enforcement came out and and gave me a 7 day eviction because the landlords never had the house inspected before I rented it, so it was never suppose to be rented in the first place. The landlord tried telling code enforcement that the tenants just don't want to have to pay for there utilities, which was so not the case. I didn't think this could happen, but I guess everything happens for a reason.

The next day I purchased the paper and found a home for sale. The house was listed for $14,000 with 5 bedrooms. I went and looked at it and loved it. The house has so much potential. I went to my bank and they gave me the loan for it because its the same bank I make my car payments threw and I have never been late or missed a payment. I do have a lot of medical bills on my credit but the loan officer stated he didn't care at all about medical bills on anyones credit. My payments for my home are $130 a month. The bank told me I made a great investment. Thank you landlords. If it wasn't for you ripping me off I wouldn't have found and bought this awesome home which I will have more hubs to come showing the updates. I hear that's called Karma, because Code also told me the landlords will be facing thousands in fines.

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Comments 5 comments

Jema Bliss 5 years ago

that's awful. you should sue your landlord. anyway, i hope you can find a system that you can conveniently pay your utilities billing on without hassle and with no chance of being corrupted by someone else.

enjoy your new house. best hopes ;)


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Carolyn2008 5 years ago from Boston

You had a happy ending, which is your fortune. Unfortunately there are homeowners who have no desire to increase the value of their real estate. They want their tenants to do it. You made a good decision by purchasing your own home. Now your problems are all yours.


Nat Amaral profile image

Nat Amaral 5 years ago from BC Canada

I'm proud of you for finding that new place. Good for you.


emievil profile image

emievil 6 years ago from Philippines

Sheeesh, those are really a lot of cr@p. Good thing you found that lovely house and moved away from them. They're really not worth it.


bloodnlatex 6 years ago

My old landlord pulled a lot of crap as well. After a couple years I wound up buying a house. I hope your new house is a lot better. It's one thing to have to deal with it by yourself, but you can't do that when you have to put your childern through it.

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