Can You Cut off Utility Services from the Tenant?

A landlord may interrupt utility services for bona fide repairs, construction, or emergencies. Landlords may interrupt electrical services for nonpayment of an electric bill.

The landlord may interrupt or cause the interruption of electric service for nonpayment of an electric bill sent to a tenant if:

  • A landlord’s right to interrupt electric service is allowed by a written lease signed by the tenant;

  • Tenant’s electric bill was not paid on or before the 12th day after the date the electric bill was issued;

  • Advance written notice of the proposed interruption was delivered to the tenant by mail or by hand apart from any other written material that prominently displays the words "Electricity Termination Notice" or similar language underlined or in bold type and includes the following:

  • The date on which the electric service will be interrupted;

  • The landlord’s location, accessible to tenants during normal office hours, to facilitate payment of bills without disruption;

  • The amount that must be paid;

  • A statement that the landlord cannot apply the payment to rent or other amounts owed under the lease;

  • A statement that the tenant cannot be evicted for failing to pay the electric bill after the landlord has interrupted the electric service unless the tenant fails to pay the bill for at least two days, not including weekends, State or Federal holidays; and

  • Description of the tenant’s rights to avoid being disturbed when a person residing in the dwelling may become seriously ill or may become more seriously ill as a result of the interruption.