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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10238
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
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Greetings, I am a landlord and while trying to identify a

Customer Question

greetings,
I am a landlord and while trying to identify a leak in my inlaw unit my payment lasped and the water was shut off. I explained to the tenant the situation and told them it would be on today. the water was shut off yesterday about 4:30pm. I paid the bill today and was told that the water would be restored and I have confirmation number. I got a call from the police that supposedly that said she was reporting that I turned off the water on her for a couple of days. I wanted to know can charges be filed against me and if police get involved in matters of this sort. I think it was a prank call but I am scard now.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 7 months ago.
Dear Customer,I am sorry to learn of this situation.Generally law enforcement does not get involved in this type of situation. An officer may contact a landlord and advise them to restore utilities if they have improperly cut off services, but this is a civil matter not a criminal one.The liability that you risk by failing to have running water to your tenant's property is a claim of "illegal eviction" (this really isn't the case in the situation you identified here where water was inadvertently cut, and immediate steps were taken to restore water within 24 hours, but I am providing this information to help put the situation in context). If you cut off utilities for a tenant, the tenant can sue for damages (usually a dollar amount per day - this can become expensive if it goes on for any period of time), or they can use this as a defense if the landlord is trying to evict the tenant (so if you were attempting to evict your tenant and this happened, it would be much more troublesome than if it simply happened during the course of the tenancy).But again, this is a civil matter and not a criminal one.

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