Q: I had a meeting with my lawyer with respect to a new home I was purchasing and was informed that I needed to contact the utility providers to set up my accounts. My real estate agent had told me that the lawyer will do this for me and I didn’t need to worry about this. Now at the eleventh hour, I am running around trying to figure out how to contact the utility providers and make sure I have power and gas at my new home. How could I have avoided this?
A: Unfortunately, you realtor steered you sideways on this one. Your lawyer is not able to speak on your behalf when it comes to setting up utility accounts. Due to privacy concerns most utility companies won’t even speak to myself or any of my employees who phone on your behalf. The suppliers may need confidential information we are not privy to in order to set up your accounts. They may also require a deposit or other requirements which you are uniquely qualified to provide. Utilities are one of the few items that your lawyers cannot guide you through. There is nothing to be done but pick up the phone and dial away for power for your new pad.
Jeffrey Cowan is the principal of Cowan Law and can be reached by email at email@example.com.
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