Can the landlord shut off the utilities?

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Can the landlord shut off the utilities?

My mother lived in an apartment with her boyfriend and he recently passed away. However, before he did he payed this month’s rent. Now the landlord is shutting off her utilities to try and get her to leave. I know this is illegal but I am wondering what type of action can she take against it?

Asked on November 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Indiana

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your mother's landlord is shutting off the utilities to her rental in an attempt to try and force her to vacate, the conduct of the landlord is clearly wrong and very well could be subject to a lawsuit by your mother.

The conduct of the landlord has a legal term called "constructive eviction". I suggest that you and your mother write the landlord about his or her improper conduct mentioning the term "constructive eviction" and that the wrongful conduct needs to immediately stop. If not stopped, your mother should consult with a landlord tenant attorney. Keep a copy of the letter sent to the landlord for future reference.


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