What to do if my tenant never established an account with the utility company for water and for power?

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What to do if my tenant never established an account with the utility company for water and for power?

I have a tenant who is in our rental property. The signed lease indicates that utilities are not included, however, the tenant refused to move the utilities into his name. He initially paid extra in his rent check to cover the utility bills but he is now past due on the rent for this month and is 2 months past due on utilities. He is ignoring my calls and emails. Am I permitted to have the utilities shut off? How long does it typically take from the start of the eviction process to actually getting the tenant out?

Asked on November 17, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You cannot shut off the tenant's utilities in that if you do, such conduct may be considered an act of constructive eviction resulting in a lawsuit against you. If you want the tenant out, you should consider serving him or her with a three (3) day notice to pay or quit.

If the landlord does not pay the amount of rent in arrears or leaves in the three (3) day time period after service, your recourse is to file an unlawful detainer action against him or her and let the legal process take care of the situation. I suggest that you consult with a landlord tenant attorney about your options.

You are looking at a 45 to 60 day process from start to hopefully end.


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