Can I turn off electric on a rental if it's not paid?

Asked about 4 years ago - Hudson, FL

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.

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Stephen Samuel Messutta

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . 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!

    The response given is not intended to create, nor does it create an ongoing duty to respond to questions. The response does not form an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to be anything other than the educated opinion of the author. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. The response given is based upon the limited facts provided by the person asking the question. To the extent additional or different facts exist, the response might possibly change. Attorney is currently licensed to practice law actively only in the State of Illinois, inactively in Florida. Responses are based solely on Illinois law unless stated otherwise.

  2. Steven Christophe Williams

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . 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.

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