Who is responsible for paying utility bill, house owner or whoever's name on the utility bill?

Does the house insurance policy holder have to be the owner?

  • 4
    It can depend on a number of things. Can you tell us more about your situation? Are you a renter, landlord, or do you have some other relationship with the homeowner? Are you facing a situation where the utility bill is behind?
    – Ben Miller
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 19:42
  • 4
    I strongly suspect that there is another question behind this question. If you tell us why you are asking, we may be able to give you more useful answers.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 0:38
  • 1
    Shouldn't it be mentioned in your contract ?
    – DumbCoder
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 7:47

3 Answers 3


Generally, the person whose name is on the utility bill is the person the utility has a contract with and can demand payment from.

The owner is generally the person who has an insurance policy on the house, since their lender will insist upon this. The occupant may have their own policy (renter's insurance, eg) to cover their possessions as opposed to the house.

Of course some or all of the utility and/or insurance costs may be passed along to the occupant as part of the rent. And some of this is subject to change depending on exactly what paperwork has been signed.


Utilities: Whoever makes the contract with the utility company. Typically, that would be the person(s) living in the house and using the power/water/etc.

Utility bills are not a government thing like taxes, which fall on you no matter what, you need to explicitly make them. When you move into a house (bought or rented), there is no contract, and if you don't do anything, you will not have water, power, cable, etc. Whoever makes the contract with those providers is liable to pay the bills.

House Insurance Policy: Again, whoever makes the contract - you don't need to insure your house (if you don't care about it being a total loss after it burns down...). Typically, if you have a mortgage, the mortgage giver (the bank) forces you to have insurance, as they do not want the house being a total loss after something happens. And of course, even if you are not forced to, it is a very good idea to have one - but it is not mandatory by law or so.


Utilities would typically be paid by the occupant, however, the utility company will expect payment from whoever is named on the bill. Some owners will keep the bill for some or all utilities in their own name and build the cost into the rent.

There are different types of insurance and laws vary from state to state. A typical homeowners policy will protect the structure and contents of a home as well as liability coverage should someone get hurt in your home etc. If the owner is renting the home to someone else they may opt for a landlord policy which will cover the structure but not contents of the home. The renter should get a renters policy which will protect the contents but not the structure.

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