may not interrupt your waste, wastewater, or gas services unless necessary because of bona fide repairs, construction, or an emergency. A landlord may shutoff electric services only in limited circumstances and depending on how the electrical service is paid.
1. "All Bills Paid" Agreements If your electrical service is provided by the landlord as an incident to your tenancy where the service is not metered and it is in the name of the landlord, your landlord may shut off electrical service to your premises only if: (1) you are at least seven days late in pay- ing rent (not other charges); (2) your landlord has mailed or hand-delivered to you at least five days before the shut-off a notice that states the earliest date of the proposed shut-off, the amount of rent you must pay to avert the shut-off, and the name and location of the person or location of the office where the rent may be paid during normal business hours; (3) the shut-off does not begin before or after the landlord’s normal business hours; and (4) the shut-off does not begin on a da , or on a day immediately preceding a da , when the landlord is not available or the office is not open to accept rent and restore electrical service. Your landlord must restore your electrical service within two hours after the time you tender rent or the delinquent electric payment during normal business hours. In harsh weather conditions or extreme circumstances, this practice may still be improper.
If the landlord disconnects utility services in violation of these rules, a tenant may either recover possession of the premises or terminate the lease, and the tenant also may recover actual damages, one month's rent or $500 (whichever is greater), attorney's fees, and court costs, less any delinquent rents or other sums for which the tenant is liable to the landlord. If the landlord is shutting off utilities because she is closing down the premises, she may still be liable to you. See "Condemned or Closing Property."
2. Submeter or Mastermeter Agreements If your electrical service is in the name of the landlord and the land- lord charges you separately for the amount of electricity used by you, then the landlord must follow special Public Utility Commission (PUC) rules. Rules concerning submetered and central or master- metered electrical service provide that a landlord can only terminate electric service for the failure to pay a utility bill; if a bill has not been paid within 12 days from the date of the issuance of the bill; and only if a landlord has given the tenant proper notice. Proper notice consists of a separate mailing or hand-delivery at least five days prior to the cutoff with the words “termination notice” or similar language. Unless an extreme situation exists, or unless the tenant requests it, service can never be disconnected on a da , or on a day immediately preceding a day, when the landlord is not available for making collections and reconnecting service. The landlord must restore the electrical service within two hours after the time the tenant renders the rent during normal business hours.