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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102506
Experience:  Qualified attorney in private practice including business, family, criminal, and real estate issues.
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My son was given a 3-day notice to pay or quit. Since then

Customer Question

My son was given a 3-day notice to pay or quit. Since then about a week later, the manager turned off my electric & locked the breaker box. Its been off now since 6/5/16. The electric is in my name only. I am going to be moving out. Was wondering a couple of things?
Can I just cut off lock & turn power back on?
And does it matter if the manager did this, not the owner? Or are they both the same party? Or do I need to separate the manager & owner?
Or do I have to call power company out, or call the police out?
Also the other thing is how or/and who can I call to take them to court? What do I need to do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation.

Until/unless the landlord actually evicts you, they continue to owe you a warranty of habitability. See HERE and scroll down to "Texas." This includes not cutting off utilities or electricity. So arguably, what they did was indeed, wrong.

1) If one intends to stay (and fight the eviction), one wants to go to Court and get permission to cut the lock. Doing so otherwise via self-help without the court's order is improper. If one intends to leave in 3 days, one may still technically (counter) sue for this violation, although it may be so minor so as not to warrant the court's time if this is 3 days or less.

2) The owner and the manager are the "same," in that the manager acts as an agent for the landlord. In the end, the landlord is the responsible party.

3) You can call the power company out and they may cut the lock as part of restoring power. If so, then the landlord would have to pursue them, not you. However the police are unlikely to get involved in such a matter as it is civil in nature, not criminal.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!