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Can my landlord turn off my electricity if the bill is in his name and ask me to leave when rent is paid on time and is current?

Moultonborough, NH |

My landlord states that because the bill is in his name, it is his electricity, so he can turn it off if he wishes, can he do that even with a two year old in the house? I also have a month to month lease and he gave me a 30 day notice to leave, but if i keep paying my rent as normal, can he still force me to leave? I had a small issue with being scammed last month and i received help from my town with rent and so as of 8/1/10 i am responsible for the rent payments, now all of a sudden my landlord wishes me to vacate in 30 days which is impossible in todays economy as it will take at least that long to find somewhere to go, also my husband, a mechanic, has been working on the landlord's dump truck free of charge, and the landlord is not willing to negotiate with us. I need help fast!!!!

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Attorney answers 1


I am a Pennsylvania lawyer, so I don't know the specific laws that might apply in NH, but it is an important question that applies to many other tenants.

When a landlord instructs the utility to turn off service, especially in the winter, that constitutes a constructive eviction. In Pennsylvania we have a statute that prohibits the utilities from turning off service without notifying the tenant and giving the tenant an opportunity to pay for the last 30 days' service. You may have such protection in your state. Consult a lawyer.

There may also be a state agency that protects consumers in utility matters. In PA it is the Public Utility Commission. If you experience an illegal shut off, contact them.

Clifford L Tuttle, Jr
Attorney at Law
Pittsburgh, PA

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