Can a tenant who claims to be disable sue the landlord if the landlord removes his name from the utilities?

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Can a tenant who claims to be disable sue the landlord if the landlord removes his name from the utilities?

Landlord rented 3 units with 1 shared meter and stated in the contract its the tenants responsibility to pay utilities but because it was shared, the landlord decided to keep his name on the utilities to be fair. Now 2 of the units are going vacant & the occupied unit has a “disabled” tenant(s). They have not paid there rent in full on time and have not paid the utility bills in 2 months. Being that the solely occupy the property, the landlord sent them a notice saying he will now remove his name and it will be the tenants responsibilty to get there own utilites and pay for them. The tenant is furious.

Asked on August 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is hard to give guidance here without really seing the premises in question and the lease agreement.  But if it is one meter and shared utilities then it will be impossible for the tenant to get their "own" utilities unless they take on the entire meter.  You lease will govern here and if the landlord is in breach and basically shutting off your utilities then you have a claim against them.  So seek help from the courts.  Good luck.


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