What is a tenant’s recourse if their electricity is shut ff due to non-payment by their landlord?

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What is a tenant’s recourse if their electricity is shut ff due to non-payment by their landlord?

I received a shut off notice from our electric company for a disconnect in 30 days. It turns out that our landlord didn’t pay the electric bill for our house, yet it was supposed to be included in our rent. I can’t even take the loss and pay it so it doesn’t get shut off; it’s extremely high and I can’t afford it. I was wondering what our rights are as tenants?

Asked on July 20, 2011 Pennsylvania

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to read your written lease if you have one for the rented unit to see if the landlord's failure to pay the electrical bill is a material breach of the agreement so you can cancel your lease if you desire. You might consider contacting the landlord seeking a rebate or reduction of your rent if the electricity is shut off because he or she failed to provide electricity to the property as agreed.

What was the landlord's excuse for not making the payment as required resulting in a possible shut off?

If the landlord refuses to pay the bill and keep the elctricity on at the rented unit, you should contact the local rent control board in your community about what is happening. The landlord needs to keep the electricty on since he agreed to pay the bill for it, not you.

Good luck.

 


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