Can my roommate turn off electricity and heat to force me out if he has already given me a notice of 30 days?

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Can my roommate turn off electricity and heat to force me out if he has already given me a notice of 30 days?

No, he cannot do this. In fact he has violated the law. You can go to small claims court and sue him for unlawful eviction. However, you’ll need to bring some form of proof as to your lack of electrical service (witnesses, shut-off order, etc). If you are successful in winning a judgement against your roommate, not only will he owe you money but you can also report this judgement to the credit reporting agencies which will in turn make a negative notation on his credit report. Right now, inform your roommate of his legal liability, perhaps this will get him to get the electrcity turned back on. Additionally, if you should end up in court regarding the eviction, your lack of electicity is something that you obviously want to make the court aware of (again, have proof with you when you go).

Asked on December 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Maryland

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, he cannot do this. In fact he has violated the law. You can go to small claims court and sue him for unlawful eviction. However, you'll need to bring some form of proof as to your lack of electrical service (witnesses, shut-off order, etc). If you are successful in winning a judgement against your roommate, not only will he owe you money but you can also report this judgement to the credit reporting agencies which will in turn make a negative notation on his credit report. Right now, inform your roommate of his legal liability, perhaps this will get him to get the electrcity turned back on. Additionally, if you should end up in court regarding the eviction, your lack of electicity is something that you obviously want to make the court aware of (again, have proof with you when you go).


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