Q: I recently sold a condominium and the following month I realized that the utility company continued to remove the monthly charge from my bank account.
They are now refusing to refund the money even though I proved to them that I do not own the property any more.
I contacted my lawyer who indicated that they do not handle utilities for clients. What should I do?
A: The very first thing that should have been done is for you to put a stop payment on any pre-authorized payments that are withdrawn from your bank that are associated with a property that you are selling.
Your lawyer cannot be privy to all of your billing/invoice requirements.
As a matter of courtesy, our firm contacts the utility company to inform them of the sale but due to privacy issues and personal information that needs to be provided, we do not take responsibility for a client’s utilities.
If approached by a client with a problem such as this, we will endeavour to contact the purchaser’s lawyer with proof of payment and request that their client reimburse our client.
However, the basic responsibility for utilities always lies with the individual; whether they are buying a property or selling a property.
Jeffrey Cowan is the principal of Cowan Law and can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.