Many landlords and tenants are unaware that a landlord cannot cause any utility in a rental unit to be turned off while a tenant is in possession of the unit, even if the tenant is not paying rent. Section 83.67(1) of the Florida Statutes states:
A landlord of any dwelling unit governed by this part shall not cause, directly or indirectly, the termination or interruption of any utility service furnished the tenant, including, but not limited to, water, heat, light, electricity, gas, elevator, garbage collection, or refrigeration, whether or not the utility service is under the control of, or payment is made by, the landlord.
If this occurs, this Section states:
[L]andlord who violates any provision of this section shall be liable to the tenant for actual and consequential damages or 3 months’ rent, whichever is greater, and costs, including attorney’s fees. Subsequent or repeated violations that are not contemporaneous with the initial violation shall be subject to separate awards of damages.
At the Morey Law Firm, P.A. we can help! We can consider your situation and help you determine your rights whether you are a landlord or a tenant. Contact us today at (407) 426-7222 for a consultation to determine your rights.