Turn power off on tenant?

Is this against the law if they won’t leave & won’t pay after you have served the 3 day?

Howdy Runajam1:

You can not turn off the water or power. I know I want to also but most laws protect the tenant even if they want to stay cool in the hot summer. Just get over it and go to court and get them out asap. You may offer them cash to get out. This works pretty good. They usually want the money before they are out but insist that you get the keys and they clean out the trash.


As TedJr said, do NOT turn off the utilities!!! Additionally, do NOT take off the doors, remove the toilets, etc., etc., etc. You’re looking for trouble that you will not be able to explain when YOU get dragged into court. Every state has an eviction procedure.

In the end, they ARE people (well, if they didn’t pay the rent, maybe not!)…use the Golden Rule. Treat them above board and within the law. The return to you will be ten-fold!


Many states are Tenant friendly and would frown on you for doing anything like this. Remember you are going to evict them, you do not want them making your life harder by filing charges that you are slumlord. Remember a landlord is a gready, selfish prick in the public eye and in the court’s eye too. So what ever you try to do will come down harder on you in the long run. Keep the utilities on, keep the place maintained but get their a$$e$ out ASAP.

I saw in the news last weekend where some landlord in FL locked his tenant IN the house for lack of payment! Haha, but he’s up on charges now (and probably a lawsuit).

A few weeks ago I was trying to decide if the 10% for Property Management was justified… I thought “couldn’t I just do it myself, and save the $?”

Screw that! I’ll save myself the headaches!

It’s posts like these that made up my mind. Thats some crazy stuff I don’t want to deal with.

Just wanted to say thanks.

Diddo… to everyone. In Ohio, if you own property in your personal name, you do not need a management company. If you own the property in your name, but you use a management company and the management company name is on the lease and not your name personally, you must use a lawyer to handle your eviction process in court. Check this out immediately because if you go and they find you have a company handling this, they will throw it out and make you re-file and your tenant will be able to live up off of you for free for another 30 days.

We have a non-retaliatory policy that Cleveland and surrounding communities abide by, so you cannot enter the unit once you’ve served eviction and have a court date; you cannot turn off any utilities; you as the landlord cannot stop fixing things; all because it will hurt you in court. This is a learning lesson you just have a bite.

Nothing like walking upto a 6’6" 300lb guy in the hood asking for your late rent :smiley:

Back in 2001, I rented our old house to my aunt. She moved down to MO from MA and totally screwed me over. She rented (if you wanna call it that) from me for 2 yrs and 6 mo. She never paid the sewer district bill, so when I finally was able to sell the home, I was left with a 300.00 bill which came out at closing, which is when I found about it, by the way. >:(
She still owes me about 2450.00 and I will never see a penny. I avoid her at all costs. Even on holidays.

That being said…My mother-in-law and I are looking at this small house. I wanna buy it to flip the property, but the realtor said that it would be a good rental home. After that fiasco, I refuse to rent! It is just a complete headache, in my opinion. Doesn’t it take too long to make money also?

Do not do anything foolish! Every state has a specific process for eviction, learn it and use it.

I’m a realtor in MA and I just closed on a new home for two tenants who lived in a multi-family across the street. Their story is an example of what happens to landlords who take matters into their own hands.

It all started over a leaking shower. The landlord refused to fix it, so the girls called the city inspectional services. He tried to retaliate and evict them. But instead of using the courts (where by the way, he would likely lose and be ordered to fix the shower) he chose to turn off their hot water, gas, heat, etc. He resorted to banging on their pipes, doors and walls at all hours.
The tenants got a lawyer and had the city on their side, the landlord did everything, I mean everything wrong. (To the point of assulting a police officer when the tenants call the cops!)
The girls ended up getting 6 months of rent back from the city escrow and buying a home of their own, while the land lord faces felony charges, jail time, huge city fines and likely forclosure.
All because he wouldn’t fix the shower and tried to kick them out.

…like I said, “In the end, they ARE people (well, if they didn’t pay the rent, maybe not!)…use the Golden Rule. Treat them above board and within the law. The return to you will be ten-fold!”…

Do unto others…the landlord is reaping the crops that he planted.

Good story, really drives home the point!


In Texas the Constable will put on his starched uniform with badge and gun. Go to the court and pick up your notice of eviction. He will drive his government issued squad car over and serve it to your tenant for the grand total of $10.00. That is 10 US dollars (your tax dollars in action). That goes a long way to getting them to move out.