About tenant refuses to pay rent after 1 month. I file 3 day, and unlawful detainer but judge doesn’t make tenant pay due to water being shut off.

I didn’t turn the water off on purpose, I’m trying to get my disability to pay and my other tenant got sick with Bells Palsy and hasn’t worked. The water was off because I didn’t have any money to pay the city. And PG&E will be going off in 9 days anyway. PG&E says that I own the service and since the tenant isn’t paying anything, how can I be strapped with the burden of paying the bills for a opportunistic freeloader when the rental agreement has already been violated?

Asked on May 21, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The fact that you didn't turn the water off on purpose might help you somewhat, but it doesn't change the fact that people need water to be able to live in a place, for obvious reasons.  It is entirely possible that the health department will order everyone out, including you, if it gets wind of the situation.

The law isn't perfect, and I do understand how unfair this is from your point of view.

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