Cancel utilities
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Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) May 10, 2019 2:32 PM
       Cancel utilities (by Robert J [CA]) May 10, 2019 2:54 PM
       Cancel utilities (by S i d [MO]) May 10, 2019 3:58 PM
       Cancel utilities (by 6x6 [TN]) May 10, 2019 4:05 PM
       Cancel utilities (by Landlord ofthe Flies [TX]) May 10, 2019 4:06 PM
       Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) May 10, 2019 4:34 PM
       Cancel utilities (by WL [CA]) May 10, 2019 4:54 PM
       Cancel utilities (by JKJ [MA]) May 10, 2019 4:58 PM
       Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) May 10, 2019 5:09 PM
       Cancel utilities (by RR78 [VA]) May 10, 2019 5:12 PM
       Cancel utilities (by Barb [MO]) May 10, 2019 5:38 PM
       Cancel utilities (by AllyM [NJ]) May 10, 2019 6:11 PM
       Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) May 10, 2019 7:27 PM
       Cancel utilities (by DJ [VA]) May 10, 2019 11:54 PM
       Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) May 11, 2019 12:09 AM
       Cancel utilities (by Still Learning [NH]) May 11, 2019 7:01 AM
       Cancel utilities (by Nellie [ME]) May 11, 2019 11:46 AM
       Cancel utilities (by Vee [OH]) May 11, 2019 12:11 PM
       Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) May 11, 2019 2:15 PM
       Cancel utilities (by Ken [NY]) May 11, 2019 3:22 PM
       Cancel utilities (by myob [GA]) May 12, 2019 2:44 AM
       Cancel utilities (by Robin [WI]) May 12, 2019 10:54 PM
       Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) May 13, 2019 10:53 AM
       Cancel utilities (by zach [MI]) May 18, 2019 11:02 PM

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Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 2:32 PM

I have a friend living in my house with no lease. We had a verbal agreement that rent would be what the mortgage is, plus utilities that would stay in my name. Yard maintenance and repairs up to $100 would be taken care of by tenant. My friend has been living there for almost 1 1/2 years. She has always paid by the 5th electronically. Utilities are auto paid by me, and I forward the email of what the cost was and she adds it to next months rent.

There has been an issue lately over the back yard flooding with standing water at times in some areas. This has somewhat been a problem when I lived there, due to weather and topography. Years ago I installed a small French drain to help, but as the ground past the pipe outlet has grown up, the water has nowhere to go.

My friend is upset about the ground water, says it's a public health issue, breeding ground for mosquitoes etc and now has not paid rent or the past utilities.

Last we spoke, via text, April 30th, I told her that she had 2 weeks to have utilities put in her name. I have not heard from her. She has not paid the rent. I sent a text today stating that it may be an oversight, but it was the 10th and rent has not been paid.

What recourse do I have to having utilities shut off and begin eviction process?

Cancel utilities (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 2:54 PM

In my State, California, it is highly illegal for a landlord to turn off utilities on a tenant. Even if the tenant has agreed in writing to transfer the service into their name. It is a Health and Safety Violation -- fines will be issued.

In this case a tenant can stop paying rent until you turn back on the service.

Your only option is to fix the problem so your tenant has no excuse not to pay rent. Like install a sump will an pump to remove standing water.

Or you can try to evict. But with this "Health" issue, you may loose the eviction case.

I had a sump pump in the back yard of one of my rental homes. The front yard and street where up hill. So I installed 15 feet of drain channel in front of the garage and many drain outlets in the back yard leading to a large underground reserve tank. In the tank I had a primary 120 volt electrical sump pump. I also had a 12 volt battery back up pump with the battery stored in the garage.

My tenant unplugged the sump pump and disconnected the battery to the battery back up pump and stopped paying the rent. I paid a city inspector to meet me at the property and file a report. The tenant contacted the Health Department and filed a complaint also about flooding and standing water.

The City inspector had his cell phone and video'ed my pump working once plugged in. So I beet the violation and evicted these tenants. The wife, was a lawyer..... --47.156.xx.xx

Cancel utilities (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 3:58 PM

The best way to lose relationship with a friend or family member is to rent to them.


What you told her has no bearing on what your state law says. In most cases, shutting off the utilities is considered "self help" eviction and is illegal. Yes, you could get sued and end up owing her more than you'll ever get paid. So, do NOT do that. If utilities are on and in your name, they must stay that way and you will have to seek relief thru a money judgment in court.

Then you need to follow your state's procedure for non-payment of rent and lease violations. In many states, this means posting the appropriate Pay or Quit notice. If there are other lease violations, that may also require a "Cure or Quit" notice. Either way (or both) I would also issue a notice of non-renewal. Verbal leases are typically considered month to month, so you can end them with 30 days for no cause in most areas. But again, check your state's laws on this. Doing this ensures she will be out, even if she does pay up and quit whining. Anyone who has treated me like this needs to go no matter what. So be sure to get her out regardless of what happens.

Then once the notices have expired or if your state does not require Pay/Cure notices, and if your friend has not paid rent and continues to ignore other violation Cure notices, you file in court for unlawful detainer, possession, and a judgment for money if your court allows both actions simultaneously.

Cancel utilities (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 4:05 PM

I am sorry for the trouble you are having. I guess this is why they say not to rent to family or friends. It is a hard line to draw and could be hard feelings in the end. Just seems to be human nature.

I think here in my state it is like RobertJ said that you cannot disconnect utilities for health reasons. Check your state and local laws.

Have you fixed the french drain problem? It is a two way street. I would fix that first since it needs done anyway and then they have no excuse. Hopefully this will resolve the problem. Maybe they feel you are not keeping up your end of the bargain.

If they don't pay after that then you will need to evict.

Cancel utilities (by Landlord ofthe Flies [TX]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 4:06 PM

My guess is she intended to not pay rent. The water buildup was just the opportunity she could use to justify it. No friend would treat a friend this way.

Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 4:34 PM

Thank you all for your thoughtful responses. I thought a 2 week notice to put utilities in her name might protect me, but I guess not. Doesnt appear that cable is protected so I could start there. Drainage for back yard during wet season does get tricky at times. I've had to weed eat the area to keep grass down, so ground dried quicker, which she has not done. I left her a weed eater, mower and other lawn tools. Rent is 800, and I could easily be getting 1200, but i thought having someone i trusted taking care of things was more important. Lesson learned.

I like the sump pump idea, but only place I could run it to would be down side where natural ditch is, but neighbors don't clean it out so with time its built up and in places higher than my back yard. The city has come out and looked at it, and said they may include digging ditch down in a culvert project they have, but only for portions of ditch that is on their property. So I'm still at the mercy of neighbors doing their portion so it can drain out of my yard. Right now it is dry, grass is long and tenant has been out of town for 3 weeks.

Cancel utilities (by WL [CA]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 4:54 PM

I installed separate water meters some years back in several apartment complexes. I had an old 1964 CA LL/T book with a form for this. Offhand, it was Notice of Declination to Pay Utilities. I then gave the tenants the notice that in 30 days I would stop paying the water bill and if they wanted water, they would sign up for San Diego City water service to continue the utility service in their own name. Worked for all of them, the tenants all signed up for city water service. Is the 1964 form legal now? Who knows, but it worked to bluff the tenants into paying their own water bill quick.

Cancel utilities (by JKJ [MA]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 4:58 PM

This is why I donít rent to friends or family especially without a lease/rental agreement, sure way to lose friends and family, --174.192.xx.xx

Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 5:09 PM

I'd like to add, that utilities were not inclusive with the rent in our verbal agreement. Electric, water and cable were reimbursed at actual cost, paid with the rent. Electric and water were always behind for that reason.

Cancel utilities (by RR78 [VA]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 5:12 PM

Sort of simple case if you break it down.

First send the pay or quit and start the eviction process.

I agree this is just an excuse.

If you have the chance to speak with her. Still continue with the process. But explain she should probably move if the yard is a problem for her. But the yard is the same level as when she first moved in. And she should have moved a year earlier if this was a problem for her.

Otherwise you base the rent on the current property and your expenses. If she wishes you will install a sump pump and have a person come out every month and clean the ditch.

But this will increase her electric bill with the pump running a lot in bad weather. And you would need to increase the rent by $500.00 a month to cover the work involved.

The idea is I will give tenants whatever they want for a price. I would even guarantee the electric will never go off. Of course they would have to pay 10K extra for a generator installed.

No one ever takes me up on my offers but it puts an end to a possible argument or them asking for extras. And the choice becomes their decision and dont have to keep having the same discussion.

That said. With a good long term tenant I will do some extra things. But ones that will pay for themselves with longer term tenants and less turnover cost.

Cancel utilities (by Barb [MO]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 5:38 PM

I would start with the pay or quit notice.

I would also send a notice of non-renewal,and if she is month to month, tell her to be out by the end of June.

If she doesn't pay the rent by the end of the day on the POQ notice, file for eviction.


Cancel utilities (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 6:11 PM

You can't shut off utilities. This is an incredibly rainy year due to Solar Minimum. Have someone come out and dig a ditch to let the water runoff somewhere else then evict her. She is NOT your friend.

Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 7:27 PM

Thank you everyone for your responses. Since I sent text today saying it might have been an oversight that rent hasn't been paid, I'll text again tom of the 10 day notice to pay and that I will file the eviction paperwork after 10 days.

Cancel utilities (by DJ [VA]) Posted on: May 10, 2019 11:54 PM

Hire an experienced eviction attorney. You no longer have a friend - you have an uncooperative tenant.

Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) Posted on: May 11, 2019 12:09 AM

I've begun researching the various forms, and it's a bit confusing if I need a 3, 7 or 10 day notice to quit or just notice of termination of our verbal lease. Does anyone have a suggestion where I can get these forms online for free? Most sites have one time or annual fees.

Cancel utilities (by Still Learning [NH]) Posted on: May 11, 2019 7:01 AM

Try your states court website.

Cancel utilities (by Nellie [ME]) Posted on: May 11, 2019 11:46 AM

Lawyer to handle the eviction. Keep copies of all the paperwork so you have it for next time. It will keep it clean and she doesnít argue with you. If she calls to discuss with you just tell her to talk to the lawyer. It is a business decision. Call it that. The business cannot have a non-paying tenant.

Cancel utilities (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: May 11, 2019 12:11 PM

You will lose a friend but rent to a better client, good luck, follow your local and state tenant rules for court paperwork timing.

Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) Posted on: May 11, 2019 2:15 PM

Thank you all. I retyped from forms I could view online and sent via text, email and will mail today cert mail. She is out of town, hence why text and email. I'm 2 hours away, so driving over to leave on door isn't very convenient.

Cancel utilities (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: May 11, 2019 3:22 PM

Follow state law,doesnt matter what is convenient,you must follow state law,i would suggest you hire an attorney who does evictions regularly

Cancel utilities (by myob [GA]) Posted on: May 12, 2019 2:44 AM

Lynn have you thought of going into the car detailing business?

I know your saying to yourself "I don't know anything about car detailing".

Cancel utilities (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: May 12, 2019 10:54 PM

I think I might spend a little time educating her.

"Dear FF (Former Friend),

It's unfortunate that you've decided to stop paying rent and utilities. While it is legal for a tenant to withhold rent based on habitability issues, there is a specific legal process for doing so.

Since you have not followed these guidelines, I can only assume you do not intend to pay rent, and must initiate eviction proceedings. Once that legal process has started, I intend to follow it through. An eviction on your record will make it extremely difficult to find decent affordable housing.

Alternatively, if you can no longer afford the rent, you may choose to avoid this process by being out with the keys returned by (name a date acceptable to you). If you do this, I will cancel the eviction process.


SBW (Sadder But Wiser)

Cancel utilities (by Lynn [NC]) Posted on: May 13, 2019 10:53 AM

Update: I have received the rent. Her answer to being late is she forgot. She didn't respond to my text on the 10th, and didn't respond to the notice to pay I sent via text and email at 2pm (she is out of state right now) till 8pm. Going forward this will be a business transaction for me, as she said some pretty insulting things and lies for her excuses, but it was never my intent to evict her.

I've learned something from all of this, and thank everyone for their responses.

Cancel utilities (by zach [MI]) Posted on: May 18, 2019 11:02 PM

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