I am from MI and am signed up through Consumers Energy's " landlord notification" , that meaning if my tenant ever is getting ready for a shut off I will get notified. Well I got notified today. She has 1 week to pay close to $300 plus an additional $190 if she wants it back on. It is spring/summer time in Michigan so nothing is going to freeze but I am wondering how you all handle these situations?
What does your lease say? Would you permit the tenant to squat in the property over the entire summer with no electric. If she can't pay electric, she can't sustain paying rent. My personal take would be to have a conversation about the cleanest way to end the relationship, which hopefully does not entail eviction. Anyway, people never cease to amaze me, and imagine the condition of your property after it's been lived in for 3-months by someone with no utilities. It could get ugly.
Even if she pays, I'd still have the conversation about how to best part ways. @Tracey Wittke
I would suggest, if it isn't already, having it in your lease agreement that if utilities are turned off for any reason and you have to pay the bill in order the resume services then they will have to pay a lease violation and the bill. Not a good sign if they are failing to pay that but circumstances do come up so hopefully its a one time thing! Good luck!
It happened to me , the tenants ran an inverter from their car to run the refrigerator . The problem was the well , no electric , no water . They were going to the neighbors hose to get water . They told them I was waiting for a well service call .( I put a stop to that ) I had to evict . Their defense was there was no water , when I told the judge its a well and the electric was off , I won right there
It's the tenants problem, I wouldn't worry about it. However non-payment of rent will likely be next.
Hi @Tracey Wittke I would take @Jason D. 's advice. Go and talk to them and figure out what's going on. Like he said this time of year is the perfect time to turnover the lease. If they won't move out than I would also let them live there without electric, so long as your lease states that they are responsible for paying it. I would also inform them that you won't be accepting any rental payments that are below the full amount, including any and all late fees. This way if it comes to an eviction they won't be able to toss a partial payment in and prolong the eviction process.
My lease says if utilities are not maintained then the lease is in violation. If they can't keep it on, I'd move for eviction.
My lease states the tenant is to maintain utilities at all times. If they fail, I consider it a breach and initiate eviction. If they can't pay the utility bill, rent isn't far behind.
Thank you for all your responses.
I wanted to give you an update. I did and said nothing and it was paid.
This tenant lives on social security, I inherited her when I bought the compound last October, she has been there going on 11 years, smoker inside home . Her home is heated with propane, and unless you live in Northern MI, you may not know that last winter was a humdinger. She has always paid rent on time. So I came to a conclusion she probably only makes minimum payments to electric during the winter in order to keep her propane tank filled. Then catches up in the spring on the electric bill which by this time is ready to get shut-off.
I thought if I evicted her it would cost me at least 5K to go in there , remodel to get rid of 11 years worth of cigarette smoke. Being my first year and acquiring 6 properties , I need a break of money going out:-)
Anyway, lesson learned here. Thanks for all the advice!