If I choose not to renew the lease agreement with my renters, and they don’t leave after the 30 day period given, can I turn off water and lights?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I choose not to renew the lease agreement with my renters, and they don’t leave after the 30 day period given, can I turn off water and lights?

All the bills are in my name and I pay them monthly out of the rent payment received from the renters.

Asked on February 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, South Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, you cannot do this.  It will be considered to be what is known as a "constructive eviction" and under these facts it is unlawful.  A landlord may not retaliate against a tenant in this way; you can be held legally liable.  In other words, even though these tenants may be in breach of their lease, you can still be sued by them.  Legally their hold-over status and your terminating utilities are considered to be 2 separate matters.  The correct way for you to handle this situation is for you to file for an unlawful detainer action (i.e. eviction).  As long as you gave a written 30-day notice, you can file immediately after the date that you gave them to vacate if they have still not left the premises by that time.  


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption