A customer of mine owns commercial spaces and has a tenant which filed for bankruptcy. The owner pays the electric. I was asked by the owner to look into finding a way to turn off the office lighting in these spaces after work hrs (5pm) in order to save money. Obviously in this case the tenant owes the owner for utilities already. What would be the ramifications for doing this? I know that in a dwelling I could not do this. But this is not a dwelling. I explained to the owner that this is somewhat complicated because in order to 'time' the lighting we would be affecting the receptacles and more importantly the egress lighting. Is this legal? Any suggestions?
Loc: Calgary, Alberta Canada
I'd contact the local authorities before doing anything like that. I know it is illegal in many places to interrupt power supplies to a building without the owner and tenants permission except in emergencies. The trusty in the bankruptcy might be willing to guaranty the utility bill for the landlord and solve the whole problem. I know under certain bylaws in various areas the landlord is protected under the bankruptcy act and can get his money back first might be worth looking into
It is the owner who wants it done. I don't know how it is in Canada, but here in the States, at least Pa., more times than not you will not get your money. That is why they file, to protect themselves from creditors! I have spoken to my attorney, The local building inspector was no help, and as far as the local authorities, unless you are talking about the township (building and planning) they have nothing to do with it.
#6741 - 01/08/0203:52 PMRe: Turning off a tenants power!
A friend of mine had a similar problem to this with a tenant. They had asked me to pull the meter base, at which I refused. I suggested that he consult the power company. The power company agreed to remove the meter base and disconnect the service. I am not sure if that is helpful at all. I thought that decision was better left in the hands of the owner and the PoCo. It was their money afterall, not mine.
I had an interesting twist on this where a non-paying tenant in a garage apartment kept turning off the Landlord's circuits. (The panelboard was in the Apartment) The owner had to call police to escort a Licensed Electrian (me) into the apartment to turn the breakers back on. It was an interesting situation to say the least. It kinda reminded me of that movie 'Pacific Heights'
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