Adams Stirling PLC


QUESTION: Is it possible to partially turn off water for delinquent owners? For instance, can the association install turn-off valves for the unit so the deadbeat owner has some water but making it difficult for him to either bathe or do his dishes?

ANSWER: California's Supreme Court has determined that associations are "for all practical purposes" a landlord. (Francis T v. Village Green.) Under landlord-tenant law, landlords may not willfully cause, "directly or indirectly," the interruption or termination of utility service to a tenant's residence with the intent to terminate occupancy. Utilities covered include, but are not limited to, water, heat, light, electricity, telephone, gas, elevators and refrigeration. (Civ. Code § 789.3.) Cable TV does not qualify as a utility.

ASSISTANCE: Associations needing legal assistance can contact us. To stay current with issues affecting community associations, subscribe to the Davis-Stirling Newsletter.

Adams Stirling PLC