Landlord-Tenant

Ask a landlord-tenant lawyer and get answers ASAP

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Landlord-Tenant

I have a family member staying in a loft in my out building

Customer Question
who quit paying rent. The...
i have a family member staying in a loft in my out building who quit paying rent. The utilities are hooked to my home next door. Can I shut them off?
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Landlord-Tenant Question
Answered in 7 minutes by:
3/17/2016
Lawyer: CalAttorney2, Attorney replied 1 year ago
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10,244
Experience: I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
Verified

Dear Customer,

No, you cannot shut off the utilities, doing so is an "illegal eviction" and you can be sued for money damages if you do so.

The proper method of resolving this is to give the tenant (family member) notice of non-payment and then follow up with an eviction proceeding in court.

The overall process is as follows:

  • "Eviction" is a word that is often misused and it leads to a lot of confusion, to help, here are the steps in terminating a tenancy:

    Terminating a tenancy-

    1) Notice: The first step in any termination is giving notice, the landlord can simply give notice that they no longer want the tenant to live there (this is usually 30 days, or 60 days, and it can be done for no reason whatsoever, there is no fault, and while the tenant must relocate, they are not being "evicted" and there is no blemish on their rental history), they can give a "notice to pay or quit" (usually 3 day or 5 day depending on the state, and the tenant has this amount of time to pay rent that they missed or move out), "notice to "cure or quit" (the tenant has breached the lease - broken something, noisy, etc. and must stop it or fix it within the notice period, again 3 days, 5 days, or 10 days), or a "notice to quit" (this is a 3 day or 5 day notice that says the tenant has messed up so badly they can do nothing but move out within the notice period - there is no chance to "cure" - this often happens when there is illegal activity on the property).

    2) Unlawful detainer/forcible entry and detainer (this is the legal proceeding where the landlord goes to court and sues the tenant to get possession - the tenant has an opportunity to appear and defend the action, common defenses include improper notice, breach of the lease (such as failure to maintain the property - "inhabitable conditions"). If the tenant answers the complaint, the parties can take "discovery" from one another and get additional information before a court trial before a judge.

    3) A judgment of possession/writ of eviction - if the landlord wins the trial, they get a judgment of possession and the court will issue a "writ of eviction."

    4) Forcible eviction - this happens when the Sheriff or Constable serves the writ of eviction - some jurisdictions give a courtesy notice the day or two before the eviction, others do not, but the end result is the sheriff overseeing the landlord's movers removing all of the tenant's possessions from the property and placing them on the curb, and the tenants are forcibly removed from the property. At that point, the landlord can change the locks and the tenant can no longer return (They have been "evicted").

Ask Your Own Landlord-Tenant Question
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Lawyer: CalAttorney2, Attorney replied 1 year ago

Dear Customer, I do not participate in the phone call program for the site, however, if you wish to have a phone call with an attorney, you can post a request for "additional services" and your request will post to other experts that do offer this service. When another attorney accepts your request you will get additional instructions. (If you have questions about these additional services, you can contact our customer service at: http://ww2.justanswer.com/help)

Ask Your Own Landlord-Tenant Question
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
I live in the state of Tennessee and I have given the notice to vacate 30 days, but they are abusing they utilities by running the bill up for 2 months now.
Lawyer: CalAttorney2, Attorney replied 1 year ago

You can sue them for money damages in small claims court following an eviction. I understand that this is not the same as having the prospective protection of keeping them from further running the bill up, but unfortunately the law does not permit "self help" measures by landlords, and you can cause yourself a much more expensive problem by doing that.

Ask Your Own Landlord-Tenant Question
Customer reply replied 1 year ago
what is process for Tennessee evictions?
Lawyer: CalAttorney2, Attorney replied 1 year ago

This is probably the easiest "do it yourself" guide on TN evictions.

http://www.landlordguidance.com/eviction-notice-forms/tennessee-eviction/

Again, the procedure that I outlined above is the general procedure, the link above will provide you with forms and the details specific to Tenn.

Ask Your Own Landlord-Tenant Question
Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10,244
10,244 Satisfied Customers
Experience: I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.

CalAttorney2 is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Thomas McJD

Thomas McJD

Lawyer

46 satisfied customers

Landlord-Tenant Law Expert

LegalWiseNC

LegalWiseNC

Attorney

0 satisfied customers

Licensed Attorney in North Carolina.

barristerinky

barristerinky

Attorney

3,830 satisfied customers

Attorney over 17 years, landlord 26 years

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Attorney

2,075 satisfied customers

Experience representing landlords and tenants.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

1,379 satisfied customers

Licensed in multiple jurisdictions. Experienced Landlord-Tenant attorney.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

1,272 satisfied customers

Attorney

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney

1,055 satisfied customers

I have handled Real Estate and Landlord Tenant matters for more than two decades.

< Previous | Next >

Related Landlord-Tenant Questions
What are the duties of a revocable trust. Vermont. That the
that the occupants are suppose to make payments equal tp the amount of the taxes and they don,t … read more
barristerinky
barristerinky
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,830 satisfied customers
We live in a mobile home park in Maryland. We pay rent on
We live in a mobile home park in Maryland. We pay rent on the land but own our home. Last year, our park manager began lumping our quarterly water/sewer bill onto our rent for that particular month. H… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
2,075 satisfied customers
I was renting an appartment of a house @*** *. ******* ***.
I was renting an appartment of a house @*** *. ******* ***. #1 ,in ******** ****, **.*****. The landlord refused to do any repaired on the house. I done most of them, but I cannot do the staires. So ,… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
2,075 satisfied customers
Regrettably, i decided to sign a lease with a new
regrettably, i decided to sign a lease with a new girlfriend . she is abusive and I want to terminate my lease. she will not vacate, and the landlords will not sign a lease with her because she violat… read more
Gerald, Esq
Gerald, Esq
Juris Doctor
3,029 satisfied customers
I am a tenant in FL that signed a lease August 1 for 1 year.
Hi, I am a tenant in FL that signed a lease August 1 for 1 year. I lost my job and have had a hard time finding work so I want to move to another city/state. I asked my landlord if I can give notice a… read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
The home my sons are renting is being purchased by the city.
The home my sons are renting is being purchased by the city. He signed paerwork with city and they agreed that move out by the end of this month. when my son moved in they paid first, lst and a securi… read more
barristerinky
barristerinky
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,830 satisfied customers
One more question... does the landlord have to return rent
Hi there, one more question... does the landlord have to return rent for the time the house has not been repaired?… read more
Ray
Ray
Lawyer
Doctoral Degree
30,179 satisfied customers
I need help regarding finding out the eviction that just
good morning I need help regarding finding out the eviction that just happen and i put my name on he lease … read more
Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw
Juris Doctor
3,682 satisfied customers
My tenant disappeared and gave possession of apartment to
my tenant disappeared and gave possession of apartment to some unknown people.how can i evict these people although they are paying rent on original tenant's name/behalf.a lease was written on the the… read more
barristerinky
barristerinky
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,830 satisfied customers
I am a landlord and I have a tenant who gave me 30 days
I am a landlord and I have a tenant who gave me 30 days notice to vacate but then moved out a week later. I then began a renovation of the bathroom./ The tenant now claims that I owe them pro-rated rent for the period of the renovation. I belive that, because they moved out, I have a right to renovate based on this guidance from the department of consumer affairs. "You can give the landlord notice any time during the rental period, but you must pay full rent during the period covered by the notice. For example, say you have a month-to-month rental agreement, and pay rent on the first day of each month. You could give notice any time during the month (for example, on the tenth). Then, you could leave 30 days later (on the tenth of the following month, or earlier if you chose to). But you would have to pay rent for the first 10 days of the next month whether you stay for those 10 days or move earlier. (Exception: You would not have to pay rent for the entire 10 days if you left earlier, and the landlord rented the unit to another tenant during the 10 days, and the new tenant paid rent for all or part of the 10 days.)" Am I in the wrong? … read more
barristerinky
barristerinky
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,830 satisfied customers
Residential apartment's lease holder disappeared and gave
residential apartment's lease holder disappeared and gave possession to some unknown people who are occupying now,what section number of ny state law applies on this kind of violation of the lease… read more
barristerinky
barristerinky
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,830 satisfied customers
I have a tenant with anger issues i want to give him a
i have a tenant with anger issues i want to give him a written warning or i will evict him i want to do every thing in a legal manner can you help me … read more
barristerinky
barristerinky
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,830 satisfied customers
I received a letter from my landlord today (11/16) that I am
I received a letter from my landlord today (11/16) that I am being evicted in 30 days from the date of the letter (10/29/17). It gave no reason other than "the landlord has decided to end the tenancy … read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
2,075 satisfied customers
I own a 12 unit apartment complex in Kansas. It is
Hello- I own a 12 unit apartment complex in Kansas. It is advertised as ages 55+ "senior housing". I have read that there is a percentage of units I could have someone under 55 in and still be age res… read more
Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw
Juris Doctor
3,682 satisfied customers
I have a Landlord-Tenant related question... NJ. I am due to
Hello, I have a Landlord-Tenant related question... … read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
2,075 satisfied customers
I am considering purchasing an apartment building. It is
I am considering purchasing an apartment building. It is currently occupied by people who at one time had leases with the owner and were paying rent. The owner died several years ago and the property … read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
I have a lease in Dallas Texas. But I need break my lease.
I have a lease in Dallas Texas. But I need break my lease … read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
My kitchen sink is broken and unable to be used for the last
Hi, my kitchen sink is broken and unable to be used for the last 5 days. My water heater is broken, we don't have hot water for the last 4 days. My Property Manager assigned handy man has not fixed it… read more
barristerinky
barristerinky
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,830 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x