I get this question and statement from Landlords.  Can I turn off the utilities, that are in my name? The answer appears to be according the Texas Property Code is YES, but if the utilities are in the occupants name then NO!

If the utilities are in your name you need to give them notice that they are going to be disconnected under your name and they need to get them put in their name.

It’s one thing for the utility company to turn off the utilities for non-payment but according to Texas law you cannot do it as punishment the tenant for non-payment of rent.

You have to evict them.

Underline of the comments is by us not found in the actual law.

The Texas Property Code states:

Sec. 92.008.  INTERRUPTION OF UTILITIES. (a) A landlord or a landlord’s agent may not interrupt or cause the interruption of utility service paid for directly to the utility company by a tenant unless the interruption results from bona fide repairs, construction, or an emergency.

(b)  A landlord may not interrupt or cause the interruption of water, wastewater, gas, or electric service furnished to a tenant by the landlord as an incident of the tenancy or by other agreement unless the interruption results from bona fide repairs, construction, or an emergency.

f)  If a landlord or a landlord’s agent violates this section, the tenant may:

(1)  either recover possession of the premises or terminate the lease; and

(2)  recover from the landlord an amount equal to the sum of the tenant’s actual damages, one month’s rent or $500, whichever is greater, reasonable attorney’s fees, and court costs, less any delinquent rents or other sums for which the tenant is liable to the landlord.

(g)  A provision of a lease that purports to waive a right or to exempt a party from a liability or duty under this section is void.

Don’t do it…