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The Law & You

My Utilities Are Shut Off and My Landlord Is Avoiding Me. What Now?

The Law & You
July 25, 2018

The Law and You

My Utilities Are Shut Off and My Landlord Is Avoiding Me. What Now?

A viewer had his utilities shut off. He called his landlord who is suppose to pay for them with no success. Is there a way for him to get the power back on?

Dave Kuharchik: We’re talking about a landlord-tenant issue for this edition of “The Law & You.” Back with us tonight attorneys Greg Fellerman and Molly Clark in the virtual law center. Good to have you both here.

Molly Clark: Thanks for having us.

Dave: Let’s get to our question. We hear about these often, a landlord-tenant situation Frank is saying in Wilkes-Barre, “I rent an apartment in Wilkes-Barre and my landlord pays all of my utilities. My water and electric were recently shut off and my landlord is not returning my calls. How do I get them turned back on?” Molly, what does Frank want to do here first because he’s got some issues with the utilities and the landlord’s not helping him out.

Molly: That’s too bad, Frank. The first thing i would- still to keep trying to call the landlord. Hopefully it’s just a miscommunication or there’s something going on with his phone. If that doesn’t work, you got to go to the magistrate immediately. There’s specific rules and laws set for landlord-tenant actions. They’re fairly simple to follow. We’d be happy to walk you through them and help you out with it. Certainly, in your situation, where the utilities are turned off you can also withhold your rent. The landlord can’t ask you for that rent. They have to- if they’re in charge of the utilities and it’s their responsibility and that’s included in your lease, which I hope that it is, then they can’t do that. They have to have them on and you can withhold your rent and not pay rent and stay in the building. I would get to a magistrate and make a complaint. What do you think, Greg?

Greg: I think you, also, can leave. I mean, that’s the other thing. If you’re not getting what you were promised as a result of your lease- this affects your ability to live in this property. If you don’t have utilities, you’re not able to enjoy the benefits you paid for. I think you can vacate the lease and let the landlord come chase you around if that’s what he wants to do. It sounds like you’ve got some other problems. Think about that. That’s a whole other option. You don’t have to necessarily just sit there and wait. You can pick and move and go somewhere else.

Dave: It sounds like Frank has some options on his side. If you want to talk your legal options, you could reach the office by phone, or by web-site, and don’t forget results matter with attorneys Greg Fellerman and Molly Clark, who was here for Ed tonight. Good to see you both.

Greg: Thanks.

Molly: See You.

Dave: “The Law & You” hotline and; two ways to get question here on the show.

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The Law & You is a nightly feature on channels WBRE-TV 28 and WYOU-TV 22 where the attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli answer legal questions. If you have a question that you want answered by the Law & You attorneys, please submit the form on this page or call the hotline at 1-888-570-HURT.

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