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My wife and I just formed a new company to start a child care business in March. We just signed a lease of a commercial space, April 1st, 2013 in Laurel Maryland, which was previously a daycare still in operation. We applied for utilities with BGE, we have no credit issues. The previous tenant, a corporation, ended their lease at the end of March. We provided BGE with a deposit and established service in our company's name, as the new tenant. BGE asked for the lease and Articles of Incorporation, which we provided in addition to out Tax EIN number and landlord's contact info. We just received a letter they are denying of service because we failed to provide "proof of the identity of our business" and will shut off our service within 7 days. They also want a "bill-of-sale" of the previous daycare business, at the same location, being sold to us which we have told them that we did not buy. We have discovered that the previous tenant owed a significant balance on their utility bill. Clearly BGE cannot legally deny us service because of the past tenant. They are trying say that we are the previous tenant under a new name. Please Help LDJ Laurel XXXXXX
You are absolutely correct in this matter -- the electric company is trying to establish that you are either the old tenant with a new name or you are somehow affiliated with the old tenant in order to justify sticking you with the bill of the old tenant. They do have the legal right to make inquiries and require that you jump through a few more hoops in order to get service turned on in the name of your new business. Unfortunately, there is no set "playbook" that they must follow and there are no exact statutes or laws that I can point you too that you can turn around to the electric company and state "you are violating such and such statute or this or that law". Under the circumstances, the law will require that the electric company be reasonable in their requests for information and their expectations regarding whether or not you are really the prior tenants and are just trying to hide it. If they still refuse to back off and your service becomes subject to interruptions because they are acting on their own whim and whimsy -- then if you lose money because of their actions you have the right to pursue these losses in a lawsuit against the electric company, and to be reimbursed by the electric company by the court.
At this point, my suggestion to you is to get a written statement from your landlord regarding that you are not the prior tenant and you are not affiliated with these people in anyway. It should be in the form of a sworn affidavit. Any other statements that you are gathering to give to the electric company, including your own statements, should also take the form of sworn affidavits. Then take all of the info you have already sent to them and add the sworn affidavits into the packet with a letter to the electric company setting forth in very strong terms that this is a new business, you are new tenants, there is no bill of sale, etc, etc. at the end of the letter tell them that you have provided everything that you can think of to them in order to straighten out these matters and in the event that the electric company turns off the electric service when it has no legal right to do so and your new daycare business suffers financial losses because of these matters you will bring suit in the local district court and charge the electric company with the losses suffered due to shutting off the service when there was no right or cause to do so.
The most effective way to probably approach this would be to hire a local attorney and have the attorney deliver a "cease & desist" letter to the electric company to stop the harassment and threats to shut down and in the event that the power is shut off leaving you to suffer business losses then the attorney will file a lawsuit within a few days after the shut off to sue for all monetary losses against the electric company.
Hello again Larry -
My computer has been doing crazy things on me tonight and I was about to post a form affidavit that you can use if you want to request that people (such as the LL) give you an affidavit so that you can send a pile of them to the electric company together with your lease and your other proofs that you were not affiliated with the prior tenant. And in addition to threatening a lawsuit, you can file a complaint against the electric company with the MD Public Utility Commission -- they will investigate the matter and keep the electric company from shutting off the power while the investigation is ongoing until it is resolved. Here is a link to the MD Public Utility Commission -- http://webapp.psc.state.md.us/intranet/info/complaintfront_new.cfm -- any affidavits and other materials that you pull together regarding these issues can also be submitted to the MD PUC as part of the complaint process.
Again, I apologize for this two part answer but I have been getting kicked out of my answers all night long when I am right in the middle of writing them and I have to run in and try to pick up where I left off. Please let me know if you want me to post the affidavit form for your use also.
While I understand that my earlier answer was not complete and thus you did not press a rating below the answer box -- I would appreciate it if you could press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below to pay me for my time in assisting you tonight -- I am paid NOTHING unless you press a positive rating underneath one of these answer boxes (and this is not a hobby for me -- it is how I earn a living). So, I would appreciate it if you would press a positive rating underneath this box or the next box where I am posting the affidavit form for your use (you will have to copy it and put it into your own document).
we have been trying to reply but the site keeps failing. We have additional information to add
we have additional info to add but site keeps failing
Larry -- the same thing keeps happening to me and items I am trying to write and post in these answer boxes keep getting cut off on me, Here is the form affidavit that you can use in Maryland for all of your affidavits to make sure that these affidavits work for you and your case. You can simply copy and paste this into a document on your own computer (Microsoft Word document would be the best)
AFFIDAVIT OF __________________
State of Maryland County of ________________
BEFORE ME, the undersigned Notary, ___________________________________________________ [name of Notary before whom affidavit is sworn], on this _________________ [day of month] day of _________________ [month], 20____, personally appeared ___________________________________________________ [name of affiant (person providing sworn affidavit], known to me to be a credible person and of lawful age, who being by me first duly sworn, on ________ [his or her] oath, deposes and says: _1,__________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ __2_________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ _3.__________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ [set forth affiant's statement of facts]
__________________________________ [signature of affiant] __________________________________ [typed name of affiant] __________________________________ [address of affiant, line 1]
__________________________________ [address of affiant, line 2]
Subscribed and sworn to before me, this _________________ [day of month] day of _________________ [month], 20____. [Notary Seal:]
__________________________________ [signature of Notary] __________________________________ [typed name of Notary] NOTARY PUBLIC My commission expires: ________________, 20____.
I know -- you are looking at the affidavit and seeing it as a simple document and that is how the court likes to see the affidavits -- very brief sworn statements in order to get just the facts as known to the person and present the facts as briefly as possible to the court.
Please let me know what additional information that you have which may work to change something that I said above in my answer and in this answer box, If you are unable to post the additional information at this time then you might want to try your technique later today to give me the additional information. At this point, however, I would appreciate it if you could press either the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face underneath this ANSWER box so I will be paid for my time in assisting you tonight. AS I said earlier -- I truly am paid NOTHING unless you press a positive rating below (Just Answer will retain your payment and never pay me anything). I am more than happy to review any additional information that you post to this thread or answer any additional questions on this topic that you may have for up to several months after your final postings to this thread, THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!!!!
Hello again Larry --
Do you have any further questions for me? If not, can you please press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face underneath this ANSWER box so I will be paid for my time? I am truly paid NOTHING for assisting you with this lengthy question and answer session unless you press a positive rating underneath this answer box (this is not a hobby for me -- it is how I earn a living and it hurts my rating ratios and income when customers inadvertently forget to press the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below). Pressing the 3rd, 4th or 5th smile face below so I will be paid for my time will NOT cost you any additional money -- doing so simply acts as the trigger to Just Answer to pay me for my time in assisting you this evening (otherwise Just Answer retains the entire payment and pays me nothing). THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!!
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