Can I cut power off to my tenant’s rental if the utiltities are in my name?

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Can I cut power off to my tenant’s rental if the utiltities are in my name?

I verbally agreed to keep the utilities in my name until the tenant could get them transferred. She never has and has been late on both utilities and rent for the entire lease term. She was given an eviction notice early last month to be vacated by the end of this month. Will I get in any trouble for cutting the power off to that house on or after the 30th? My rental company states that I can be sued for constructive eviction if I terminate the power even though nothing in the lease states my responsibility for utilities.

Asked on April 23, 2012 under Real Estate Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I think that you should take the advice of your rental company who is really telling you not to turn them off. Some states allow tenants treble damages if the actions of the landlord can be labeled as harrassment.  Seek legal help here on getting this tenant out legally.  Good luck.


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