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ScottyMacESQ
ScottyMacESQ, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16840
Experience:  Licensed General Practice Attorney, Texas
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Can I cancel the the electric service if the tenant refuses

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Can I cancel the the electric service if the tenant refuses to pay rent?

ScottyMacESQ :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacESQ :

No, you cannot:

ScottyMacESQ :

Indiana Code - Section 32-31-5-6: Landlord prohibited from interfering with access, possession, or essential services; unit entry by landlord

(a) This section does not apply if the dwelling unit has been abandoned.
(b) For purposes of this section, a dwelling unit is considered abandoned if:
(1) the tenants have failed to:
(A) pay; or
(B) offer to pay;
rent due under the rental agreement; and
(2) the circumstances are such that a reasonable person would conclude that the tenants have surrendered possession of the dwelling unit.
An oral or written rental agreement may not define abandonment differently than is provided by this subsection.
(c) Except as authorized by judicial order, a landlord may not deny or interfere with a tenant's access to or possession of the tenant's dwelling unit by commission of any act, including the following:
(1) Changing the locks or adding a device to exclude the tenant from the dwelling unit.
(2) Removing the doors, windows, fixtures, or appliances from the dwelling unit.
(3) Interrupting, reducing, shutting off, or causing termination of any of the following to a tenant:
(A) Electricity.
(B) Gas.
(C) Water.
(D) Other essential services.
However, the landlord may interrupt, shut off, or terminate service as the result of an emergency, good faith repairs, or necessary construction. This subdivision does not require a landlord to pay for services described in this subdivision if the landlord has not agreed, by an oral or written rental agreement, to do so.
(d) A tenant may not interrupt, reduce, shut off, or cause termination of:
(1) electricity;
(2) gas;
(3) water; or
(4) other essential services;
to the dwelling unit if the interruption, reduction, shutting off, or termination of the service will result in serious damage to the rental unit.
(e) A tenant may not unreasonably withhold consent to the tenant's landlord to enter the tenant's dwelling unit in order to:
(1) inspect the dwelling unit;
(2) make necessary or agreed to:
(A) repairs;
(B) decorations;
(C) alterations; or
(D) improvements;
(3) supply necessary or agreed to services; or
(4) exhibit the dwelling unit to prospective or actual:
(A) purchasers;
(B) mortgagees;
(C) tenants;
(D) workers; or
(E) contractors.
(f) A landlord may enter the dwelling unit:
(1) without notice to the tenant in the case of an emergency that threatens the safety of the occupants or the landlord's property; and
(2) without the consent of the tenant:
(A) under a court order; or
(B) if the tenant has abandoned or surrendered the dwelling unit.
(g) A landlord:
(1) shall not abuse the right of entry or use a right of entry to harass a tenant;
(2) shall give a tenant reasonable written or oral notice of the landlord's intent to enter the dwelling unit; and
(3) may enter a tenant's dwelling unit only at reasonable times.
As added by P.L.2-2002, SEC.16. Amended by P.L.115-2007, SEC.6.

ScottyMacESQ :

So to be clear, (c) Except as authorized by judicial order, a landlord may not deny or interfere with a tenant's access to or possession of the tenant's dwelling unit by commission of any act, including the following:
(1) Changing the locks or adding a device to exclude the tenant from the dwelling unit.
(2) Removing the doors, windows, fixtures, or appliances from the dwelling unit.
(3) Interrupting, reducing, shutting off, or causing termination of any of the following to a tenant:
(A) Electricity.
(B) Gas.
(C) Water.
(D) Other essential services.

ScottyMacESQ :

You would need to go to court to get permission to do so (in an eviction action).

ScottyMacESQ :

Otherwise, you could find yourself at the other end of a countersuit, and be forced to pay your tenant for damages incurred... I know that this is not fair, but it is the law...

ScottyMacESQ :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

Okay, thank you.

ScottyMacESQ :

My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

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