Tenants cancelled electric service before the end of their lease.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Tenants cancelled electric service before the end of their lease.


My tenants were suppose to stay and live out their last months rent for October. They advised me that they would be out at the end of October but moved out on the 1st of October and cancelled the electricity on October 4th yet have not rendered the keys, garage door openers, etc. I turned the electric back on today under my name because I can’t have the house without AC etc. What are my rights? Can I deduct the balance of the electricity when I get the bill and are they technically considered out? Please advise, thanks.

Asked on October 5, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You could sue them for any amounts they should have paid but failed to--e.g. if they were supposed to pay (under the terms of the lease) the last month's electric but did not. If they do not return your keys, etc. before the next month, they will not have returned possession and will liable for the next month's rent, too, and could sue them for that as well--and for accumulating rent until they do in fact return the keys, etc. and thereby formally return possession.
They did have the right to move out, so long as they paid all things they were supposed to: a tenant does not have to actually occupy the rental unit so long as they pay all rent, utilities, etc. they are required to pay.

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