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

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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

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 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.


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