Turning off utilities in your rental property is never a good idea while you have tenants living there. It’s important that you don’t ever do this to a renter’s property because if you do, you can find yourself in the middle of some serious legal issues.
Property Management Orlando: Switching Utility Accounts
When we talk about turning off the utilities, we are specifically referring to what can happen when you accidentally leave them on in your name after a tenant moved in. If you discover this has happened, don’t just turn them off without warning. You should always turn off utilities right before the tenant moves in. Schedule that with the utility company so your tenants can get the utility accounts put into their own names once the lease begins.
Property Management Orlando: Including Utilities
Even if you include utilities in the rent, you cannot shut them off on your tenants if their rent is late or unpaid. Your best solution in this case is to file a Three Day Notice and once that time has passed, file for eviction. I know it seems unfair that if the utilities are in your name and the rent isn’t being paid, you cannot turn them off. Many Orlando property managers find it ironic that the utility companies will shut off those utilities when the bills aren’t paid, but you are not permitted to.
Here’s a word of advice that many property managers in Orlando share with their owners and landlords: Never let your tenants move into the property until you have a receipt that states the utilities have been turned on in your tenant’s name.
If you have any questions about this topic, please contact us at Hampton & Hampton Management and Leasing. We would be happy to talk to you further. Our Orlando property management company provides regional services from the east coast to the west coast, and central Florida as well.