rights to turn off utilities - Posted by ray e.

Posted by jeff on April 13, 2000 at 18:11:01:

Laws vary from state to state. In some or even most states you are setting yourself up for a big lawsuit. You must go through proper notification procedures most of the time. If you own that many properties surely you have a lawyer.

rights to turn off utilities - Posted by ray e.

Posted by ray e. on April 09, 2000 at 21:52:16:

I own an efficiency apartment where I pay all utilities. Do I have the right to turn off power and water if they fail to pay the rent?

YES!!! Turn them off. - Posted by Brian Cosper

Posted by Brian Cosper on April 10, 2000 at 20:27:13:

Yes you can turn them off. We own 12 apt complexes and 50+ houses. Over 200 of our units are all bills paid and we turn them off if they dont pay. Here is the process we follow when someone doesnt pay. The first day they are late we post a 24 hour eviction notice in conjunction with a 24 hour notice of electricity service being disconnected. 24 hours later if they are still in the apt or havent paid, we turn off their electricity at the breaker or even take the breaker if the box can not be locked. The next day, if they still havent complied, we post a contractual lien, seizing entire contents of apt, by the way it used to only be certain items you could contractually place in lien but last year a ruling became precedence for entire apt. In conjuction with posting that on the door, we change the door lock and make sure safety locks are on all windows and on the posting on their door our letter states any attempt to enter this apt will be considered breaking and entering and prosecuted. You must have all postings signed by 2 parties. At this point, we make the remainder of their lease due and payable to retrieve their belongings. If they still do not pay, we put their items in storage and wait 30 days to have an auction at which we always bid the amount owed in case they show up. They never do and we get to keep everything. Also, if they are home where you can not change their locks, file a formal eviction along with a writ of posession. The writ, even if they show up to court for the eviction, still will be served the same day or one day before the trial with the constable if the tenant fails to respond to the writ separatly and you put all their items on the curb and change their locks at that point all with the help of the constable. You should have the person out of the apt at least in 7-10 days.

Unfortunately, not… - Posted by SusanL.–FL

Posted by SusanL.–FL on April 10, 2000 at 14:26:10:

…but I STILL gave it a ‘shot’ myself!

I had a renter in my duplex who quit paying so I called the utility company (from a pay phone one lunch hour) and told them that I was Lupe (short for Guadalupe) So-and-So and that I wanted my utilities shut off the next day because I was moving. (OH how I wished!!) :slight_smile:

I even had her social security number handy (just in case I needed it). Told them to PLEEZE send ‘my’ utility $deposit$ to an address across town.

I had ‘satisfaction’ for a day or two–THEN she mysteriously came up with another $deposit$ because she had the utilities turned back ON again!


Oh well…I tried. Had to start the eviction process after that…but NOT before they trashed the place to the tune of $1,500 !!!

Good luck.

Re: rights to turn off utilities - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on April 10, 2000 at 09:48:11:

RAY, I do not know what state you are in but here in OHIO, the answer to your question is NO. Now if you should decide to do this anyway the utility companies will reconnect the tennant (at your expense). If this takes place during the winter heating season, the power will not be disconnected for any reason. Should you decide to fight the “poor helpless tennant”…well OHIO has over 400 lawyers on staff at the Attorney Generals office and She may assigh all of them to assist “the poor helpless tennant” in the never ending fight against the “Rich Landlord”. Guess who will win…ED (Been there and done that).

I Don’t Think So - Posted by Bill K. (AZ)

Posted by Bill K. (AZ) on April 10, 2000 at 24:15:15:


I’m not a lawyer, but I watch’em on TV! (smile)

What you propose to do is called “self-help”, and it’s not recognized as a valid solution under the law in any state that I’m aware of. Check your state’s “Tenant/Landlord” laws for the correct procedures for eviction. The process may take a little time, but unlawful eviction could cost you much more.

I hope this helps.

Bill K. (AZ)

Your Advice is Reckless - Posted by Bill K. (AZ)

Posted by Bill K. (AZ) on April 10, 2000 at 23:22:11:


Where do you live?

Your advice is reckless at best. I quote your post, “Yes you can turn them off.” It is irresponsible to recommend to Ray that he do as you say considering the fact that you don’t even know what state he lives in. And, as a landlord of 12 apartment complexes and 50+ houses, I’m sure you know that Tenant/Landlord laws vary from state-to-state, right?

Bill K. (AZ)

What Country do you live in? - Posted by JD

Posted by JD on April 10, 2000 at 21:27:16:

Cuba? aka Fantasy Island