Can I be evicted because of unpaid utilities?

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Can I be evicted because of unpaid utilities?

Utilities were not placed into my name until the 6th of last month. Move in date was on the 3rd of the previos month. I didn’t change them immediately because the landlord failed to notify me of a $200 utility deposit. She agreed to let me place utilities in my name when I did. She said she would bill me for used utilities. I received a bill 2 weeks ago and then she sent a letter of intent to terminate lease on because of unpaid utilities.

Asked on August 15, 2011 Ohio

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written lease for the unit you are renting, you need to carefully read it in that its terms and conditions control the obligations you owe to the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

What you have written about is a situation of apparent miscommunication between you and the landlord over utility bills and their payment. If the landlord agreed to have utilities placed in your name and that a bill would later be sent to you for past charges since the utilities were not in your name previously, your landlord should allow you a reasonable time to pay these charges before the notice of termination of your lease was sent.

If you did not reimburse her for the utilities promptly after receiving the bill two (2) weeks ago, then this is the logical reason for the notice of termination of your lease. If you have not paid the utilities yet, then your landlord can evict you because of this failure.


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