What To Do If Your Landlord Terminates or Reduces Your Utility Services

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The following document ONLY applies to jurisdictions in Kentucky that have enacted the Uniform Residential Landlord Tenant Act. These jurisdictions are: Barbourville, Bellevue, Bromley, Covington, Dayton, Florence, Lexington-Fayette County, Georgetown, Louisville-Jefferson County, Ludlow, Melbourne, Newport, Oldham County, Pulaski County, Shelbyville, Silver Grove, Southgate, Taylor Mill and Woodlawn.

If you do NOT live in one of these jurisdictions, please do not rely on this document for legal advice.

Further, this information only applies to residential leases. It does not apply to: commercial units, properties under contract for sale, hotels or motels, or people who are employed by the landlord.

Your landlord is not allowed to terminate or reduce your heat, water, electricity, gas, hot water or any other essential service while you are living in a unit. Other essential services may include air-conditioning, phone or garbage service, however this is up to individual judges to determine.

Your landlord may refuse to pay a bill that YOU were responsible for under the lease, however he has to pay any bill that he was responsible for under the lease. Your landlord may also not physically turn off any utility service that is in your name (for example cut the lines to your house).

If your landlord does any of these things you may (after sending him notice of the lack of service):

  • Obtain reasonable amounts of heat, hot water, running water, electricity, gas or other essential service and deducting the cost from the rent.

  • Recover damages based on the reduction in the fair rental value of the dwelling unit.

  • Obtain reasonable substitute housing during the period of non-compliance, and withhold rent during the period you cannot live in the premises.

You may inform your landlord of his responsibilities by sending this letter.

If your landlord has reduced your utilities and you wish to terminate your lease, you may send him this letter.

If your landlord has reduced your utilities and you wish to claim damages you may send him this letter.

Reviewed August 2009