How much notice do I have to give my tenants-at-will if I am not going to provide them heat anymore?

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How much notice do I have to give my tenants-at-will if I am not going to provide them heat anymore?

They are not paying the rent so I can’t afford to put oil in. I am going to evict them. How much notice do I have to give them informing them that I will no longer be providing heat?

Asked on February 6, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Maine

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have been supplying heat you cannot just stop supplying  it.  At least if you don't want to get sued by your tenants.  If they are not paying their rent and will not vacate, then you have no choice but to give them a notice to quit.  If they do not leave by the date specified, then you will have to file an "unlawful detainer action" (i.e. eviction) with the to court.  If you attempt to get them out before then by using self- help measures such as shutting off the heat, you will find yourself in a good deal of legal trouble. So don't do it.  I understand that without their rent money it is going to be difficult for you to pay the heating bill, but legally you must.

As for the notice to quit, for a tenancy at-will (I'm assuming month-to-month), you will need to give a 30-day written notice.


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