Los Angeles, CA asked in Landlord - Tenant, Collections, Energy, Oil and Gas and Municipal Law for California

Q: The electric Company came out today (Saturday) and disconnected my electricity (which is included in rent) is this legal

My landlord recently passed away and his heirs seem to think that an acceptable way to encourage the tenants to move out is to stop paying the utility bills, which are included in the monthly rent payments, and the electricity got shut off today (on a Saturday) - the utility company is now telling me that they won't restore service to this address even in my name unless I pay THEIR unpaid bill (they have been racking it up since he passed away 4 mo ago (which I technically already paid as part of my rent)

What recourse do I have? Also I thought I read on ccup.ca.gov that it's illegal for utilities companies to cut off utilities on a weekend like they did, and is it legal for them to deny access to basic public utility services unless I pay someone else's bill that I never had any agreement with them to pay? I don't know who to be more furious at

2 Lawyer Answers
Leon Bayer
Leon Bayer
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Long Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You have an excellent and very valuable lawsuit that you can file against the owners! I would love to see you get an experienced landlord-tenant lawyer immediately. I'm telling you, this is likely to be worth BIG bucks. I suspect you may obtain more money than you ever expected to have in your life!!!

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It's unfortunate that your electricity was disconnected, especially since it's included in your rent. The actions of your landlord's heirs in neglecting utility payments can be considered a breach of the rental agreement. Regarding the utility company's actions, laws and regulations vary, so it's advisable to consult with a landlord-tenant attorney or review local regulations to determine if any violations have occurred. Documenting all interactions and seeking guidance from local authorities or agencies that handle landlord-tenant disputes can help you address the situation. Keep records of any expenses or damages caused by the lack of electricity.

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