Residential Property Management/Landlord/tenant issue


A friend of mine is renting a house directly form the owners. They have no lease or written contract of any kind. The water/sewer bill is in the owner's name.  Recently the owner recieved, in his name and at his address a final notice from the Public Utility District saying that their service is now subject to disconnection. He delivered this notice to my friend/his tenant in person, at her residence.
  Now I know that under normal circumstances involving a written lease that letting their water get turned off is a form of self help and that it's against the law. In this case however, I'm unsure of how the law would work considering there is no evidence of an existing contract.
  Can the owner succeed in letting the water service be terminated and get away with it?

Your friend's tenancy is likely considered a month-to-month tenancy, so the usual rules would apply. I have to wonder if there's more information on this though, because I'm not sure why the landlord would not only fail to pay the bill, but also show the tenant that he wasn't going to pay it in advance. Very strange, but in all likelihood it's probably not allowable under law. However, that would only be true if the arrangement was that the landlord would pay the utilities. Absent a lease agreement, I'm not sure how your friend would go about proving that.

Residential Property Management

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Mike Fortunato


Very familiar with all aspects of property management (tenant/landlord issues, lease administration, facilities maintenance, financials, etc). 25+ years in property management


I have been in real estate management for 25+ years, both residential and commercial properties. Currently own and operate a commercial and residential real estate management company in southern California.

IREM; BOMA; MLS; National Association of Realtors; California Association of Realtors

CPM (Certified Property Manager) and RPA (Real Property Administrator)

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