Los Angeles, CA asked in Consumer Law, 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

PS: I am disabled and low income, and a lady that is also on this property in a different unit and equally affected is a senior citizen

1 Lawyer Answer
Maurice Mandel II
Maurice Mandel II
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Newport Beach, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: This is awful. You need to contact the utility immediately to have service restored in your own name. Deduct from rent what you must pay. Your landlord is prohibited from doing this to force you out, it is in a statute, I believe Civil Code 1941.6, or close to it. You need to retain an attorney immediately to get on this LL on your behalf. Check here and do a google search. You may need to speak with several before finding one who will assist. Contact your elderly neighbor to see if she wants to be represented as well.

LL are subject to strict provisions about how to evict tenants, these "heirs" apparently do not appreciate this and think they can do whatever they want. You are entitled to protection but it won't be quick or easy. I recommend you contact several attorneys in your area that practice this type of law, as soon as possible. Thank you for using Justia ask a lawyer.

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