Using Generators in Non-Emergency Situations

5 Replies

An inherited tenant in one of my duplexes in PA had his electricity shut off by PECO for non-payment. Now he's using a generator for his electricity. He turns it on around 9 am and off at 10:30 pm. I can't imagine what a nuisance this is for the neighbors and other tenants in the house (let alone how stupidly expensive it is to run). It's been like this for a week already, but he anticipates having his power turned back on the beginning of this coming week.

For future reference, can I put a line item in the lease which prohibits a tenant from using a generator in non-emergency situations?

Great question

You may already the answer in your Lease agreement (I would say we all have some basic similarities in our leases).  First, the noise from the generator may be covered under  a provision for tenant responsibilities of "no noise" that you could use to put them on notice.  Secondly, you hopefully have another provision that also lists the payment of utilities as a tenant responsibility.  Specifically that the "Tenant agrees to pay on time all utility bills for which Tenant is responsible."  If these are not in your lease, you should add them in the future.  There would then be no need to a future line for the use of the generator, and covers you for other potential issues.

I think the bigger issue is the utilities, not the generator.

As @Barrett Dunigan  mentioned add utilities clause in your lease.  The standard Texas Realtors lease has the following in there.

Ah great, thanks for pointing that out Barrett and Shawn. I see that I do indeed have "No Noise" and "Payment of Utilities" clauses under a section called "Tenants Responsibilities" which have similar wording. So it looks like I am already covered. Thanks!

If he is back feeding thru an outlet like the dryer plug , I would put a stop to that right away . If he is using extention cords , and not running it at night I dont think there is anything you can do , its just as noisy as a lawnmower.  Make sure its no where near a basement door or window due to exhaust , and dont let be run in a garage .  

That happened to me once , After a storm the tenant  called called me and told me he had no water , when I showed up and saw the generator, I started to crack up laughing , I told him that you need elecrticity to run the well .  I went out and bought him 3  buckets and told him to plug in the sump pump , fill the buckets with water , and use that to flush .

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