If my tenant refuses to leave and I’ve served the 3-day notice, if she also owes the electric bill which is in my name, canI have it shut off?

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If my tenant refuses to leave and I’ve served the 3-day notice, if she also owes the electric bill which is in my name, canI have it shut off?

My tenant has 3 days to pay or leave, starting today. She said she has 2 weeks to leave since that’s how long the eviction process will take. I made the mistake of leaving the utilities in my name with her promising to pay them on time. The electric bill is due2 days after the 3-day notice is up. Can I turn the electric off after the due date passes and make her put it in her name to avoid it going against my credit? She’s supposed to be out before that but if she’s not will I be forced to pay the bill and the late fees while she’s “squatting” in my house?

Asked on July 26, 2011 Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you shut off the electricity of your tenant in the house she is renting from you which is in your name as a result of the tenant not vacating the property or paying due rent after service of a three day notice to pay or quit, the results to you will be detrimental.

The tenant could sue you for retaliatory eviction for turning off the power in response to her continued occupancy of the unit without paying the required rent after service of the three day notice to pay or quit.

Keep the power on at all times and in your name to maintain the status quo. Contact a good landlord tenant lawyer and proceed with your unlawful detainer action against the tenant and rely on the attorney's advice in this situation.


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