Question for Texas landlords re: electricity

In Dallas it takes “on average” 3 business days for electricity to be moved into a tenant’s name, if they call the electric company the day of or evening before moving in. Note to non-Texans – we have electric competition here (through 3rd party resellers that sell power from the original local utilities at various rates) and I’ll reference that below.

I imagine it’s smart to call your electric (reseller) company the day tenant moves in to have it removed from your name, and then have the tenant call their future electric (reseller) company the SAME day to prevent any outage…? I know some landlords in books say to have tenants put the electricity in their name before moving in, period, but in Texas that’s impossible if you approve them (run their background/criminal/credit check) and have them move in the same day or next day. I had a tenant whose electric company supposedly said it’d take 5-7 days to get the electric moved to their name; that seems stupid to me. In Dallas our local utility provider is NOT affected by the Hurricane Ike situation — I have checked with numerous large landlords and electric companies in the last week (I’m buying several properties for cash, NOW, and am currently experiencing the 3-day turnaround myself).

So my question is this…how long do you Texas landlords give your tenants before you call into the electric company to have the utilities removed from your name / your company’s name?

Thanks guys!

My potential tenants usually have to give 30 days notice to their present landlord. That gives us plenty of time to get utilities squared away.

I tell the new tenants that I will call and have the utilities turned off the day before they move in, and if they want power or water, they’d better make arrangements to have it put into their names.

My local utilities will go out and do a reading the day I call them, but not turn anything off.

No matter. If I call before they move in, I can turn all the utilities off. It doesn’t matter much if the utility company takes a few days to do it.

If I let the utilities remain in my name, and the tenant doesn’t switch them, it then becomes a constructive eviction to turn the utilities off while the tenant is using them. That would be illegal in most states.