As a landlord, what are my rights to turn off a tenant’s electricity?

UPDATED: Nov 30, 2012

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As a landlord, what are my rights to turn off a tenant’s electricity?

I own a property that is leased to a tenant. The contract specifies that electricity is paid by the landlord. At the expiration of the lease, the tenant, who is not current with his lease payments, will have to vacate the property. Can I turn off the electricity service the next day or any time after the expiration of the contract even if the tenant has not moved out of the property?

Asked on November 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, a landlord cannot use self help to evict a tenant from a rental. In your matter, you will need to wait until the tenant has actually vacated the unit before you shut off the electricity. If you do so while the unit is occupied by the tenant, you could face a lawsuit for retaliatory eviction.

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 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.

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