I am a first time landlord in Philadelphia, PA with tenants moving in in two weeks. As the title suggests, I am not sure how to handle transfers of utilities to tenants. To be clear, I am not asking whether I should be paying for these; the tenants are aware that they will be paying for these utilities. I am asking, how exactly do I transfer this responsibility? The existing accounts are in my name. I just don't know how to logistically transfer this over into their name. I could, of course, pay for it myself and charge them for it, but I would rather not deal with this. Additionally, what about curtains? The rental was advertised as unfurnished, and the tenants are aware that this is the case. I just don't know how this works with curtains. Are these left in place?
Call your local utility company, they will be able to tell you exactly how to transfer the utility bill to another party - you can likely find the phone number on your last bill. Some utility companies may allow you to do this online, so you can check their website as well.
As for the curtains, I'm not sure you'd be required to leave them as it's not really a fixture of the apartment, but I see little downside to doing so. The tenants will want to cover the windows with something, so they'll just wind up installing their own curtains or blinds and possibly damaging your wall, or asking you to do so. If you provide the curtains, the tenants will have to return them in the same condition at the end of their lease, so leaving them carries very little risk to you, and it would be a nice courtesy that will make the apartment more livable from day 1 for your tenants.