My landlord shutoff the electricity and sent me a text saying he sold the house and wants me out by the end of the month (July) I was paid up thru to Aug. 3rd and I pay 600/mo (400/rent +200utilities) When I called fair housing they told me to call code enforcement so they can issue him a citation and get him to turn it back on. When they came they red tagged it for not having electricity and gave me 5days to vacate. Then the police came and said they will arrest anyone inside the house because it is condemned! Well the code enforcement lady said he was extremely uncooperative and the bill wasn't in his name so I tried getting it turned on in my name but they said the bill has to be paid first but they won't tell me whose name its under or how much, only that its a big amount. Well I guess he sold the house. (Or so I'm told) And now the cops say he doesn't have to do anything bcuz he's no longer owner. Meanwhile we don't have a place to go, not for us or our pets and I've been sleeping outside so i don't violate any order.
The thing is i dont have a contract, only an oral agreement as far as my occupancy goes. But the school and the welfare office have had this as my address for 2 years. I have the garbage service turned on in my name, i have texts he has sent in the past regarding rent and him turning off the electricity and threatening to call cps. I even have a video of him breaking my phone when I attempted to record him and his friends barging in without a proper notice, the phone was shattered but the video still saved to the SD card.
I have a lot of questions like what can I do? The cops say this is all a civil matter, to take the evidence to court, I sure do feel like all these ppl who are supposed to uphold the law are turning the other cheek when it comes to holding this guy accountable. This is a small town and he owns a few restaurants and other businesses here and in the surrounding area so I'm sure they were all childhood friends.
I need help getting this guy to do the right thing bcuz I did pay 200 every month for the utilities (and that was just me, the other 2 occupants also pay 600.) He had way more then enough to pay pg&e. Will someone please call?
1 Answer from Attorneys
Get yourself a good lawyer who represents tenants. Turning off electricity to drive out tenants is a crime. With the right lawyer on your side, the "former" owner might still face tremendous liability or even criminal charges. Also, you can check with the county recorder's office to find out whether a deed has been recorded for the property and then contact the new owners, if any.