I have the electric in my name, and my tenant is supposed to pay. They have not paid in 2 months. How can I force them to put the electric in their name? If I send a certified letter demanding that they do, how much time do I have to give them? I don't think I can turn it off, because they have a small child.
Real Estate Attorney
You first need to look to the rental agreement to see what it says about electric utilities. If the agreement requires them to pay for electricity and to put it in their names, then they are in violation of the rental agreement. In California, the law permits a landlord to serve a three day notice to "perform or quit" when the tenant is violating the terms of the rental agreement. If, after three days, the tenant does not perform (i.e. comply with the rental agreement) or quit (vacate), then the landlord can file an action in court - called an unlawful detainer action - to recover possession of the rental unit.
Real Estate Attorney
The Florida Residential Landlord and Tenant Act specifically prohibits the landlord from turning off electricity, water, etc. PERIOD. As a landlord it is your responsibility to become familiar with the laws that you are responsible to comply with. Title VI, Ch. 83, Part II of the Florida Statutes. Your rights and remedies for non-payment are set forth in the Act and include the right to sue the tenant and to evict. Make sure the obligation to pay for electrical is in the lease!
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