Can the utility company turn off the commercial tenants power if the meter is in the landlord’s name and he is behind payments.

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Can the utility company turn off the commercial tenants power if the meter is in the landlord’s name and he is behind payments.

Asked on May 30, 2009 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

J.M.A., Member in Good Standing of the Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The short answer is yes.  The landlord has a duty to maintain the meter and make sure the tenants receive those utilities. I am not sure why the landlord is not payng, but it is obligated to do so or it is causing damages to the tenants.  I would contact the utility company and find out how to get them to service individual units if that is possible.  otherwise, you need to file some kind of action in court to force the landlord to use the rental income to pay the utility bill. the landlord's conduct constitues a constructive eviction and the tenants may be able to leave without paying the balance of their rent.  I would get a lawyer involved asap.


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