Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Ohio

I have a renter that has not paid her rent in full from the day she moved in and hasn't paid at all this month, so we have given her an eviction notice multiple times. Which she refuses to leave, so we disconnected her internet (which is yours also). In the lease it says internet is provided, but since the rent isn't paid do we have the right to disconnect hers?

Asked on 12/02/12, 3:15 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Andrew J Ruzicho II Law offices of Andrew J Ruzicho II
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Generally, a landlord cannot disconnect utilities in order to force a tenant out. This is known as an illegal self-help eviction and can subject a landlord to damages and attorney's fees for doing so. Internet service is becoming more and more like a utility. I know if I don't have internet service that there's a lot I can't do just as if I don't have electricity. On the other hand, internet service does not seem as critical as heat and electricity and running water. You did however indicate that internet was provided in the lease. In my opinion, it's not worth the risk to shut off the internet because she is late on rent. You're only hurting yourself as your renter is left without a valuable means to find a new apartment.

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12/05/12, 9:37 pm

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