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ONLY Hot Water was turned off due to nonpayment

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Senior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Indiana specifically, but any state in general

Tenant lives in an apartment complex where he is billed by one of those "utility recovery" companies for his water service (i.e., where the building pays one utility bill but has no submetering, so they submit their bill to the utility recovery company, who in turn divides the bill according to the number of units and collects a portion of the building's total bill from each tenant/unit).

Tenant is behind on his utility bill, is told that his HOT WATER is to be shut off if payment is not made. Tenant comes home from work a few days later to find that ONLY the hot water has been turned off. He also finds out that the apartment management allegedly allowed the utility company to enter his rented apartment to turn off the hot water, but no notice (verbal or written) was provided to give the tenant advance notice that this was going to happen. Tenant's COLD water remains on and active. Note that the tenant does not have an individual water heater, and that hot water is on a shared unit between several apartments.

It was a little surprising to me that a utility company could have the power to disconnect just the HOT water to an individual apartment. I'm not entirely clear on how that is even possible. How would that be done, except to turn off the hot water valves in the bathrooms and kitchens, wherever hot water would be used? Is there such a thing as a single hot water valve to direct water into an individual unit?

The other question I have (which would be very pertinent in this situation) is why a utility billing company would even have or require access to hot water valves in any individual rental unit in a complex? Since the complex is billed by the local utility company, and the utility bill from that company is forwarded to the utility billing company, and the utility billing company really doesn't have the power or authority to connect or disconnect any given service, wouldn't it have to be the apartment management who actually did the disconnection to an individual unit?

Last, but not least, is it LEGAL for an apartment complex to disconnect just one service (like hot water instead of both hot and cold water) to an individual rental unit like this?


Senior Member
Call city inspections desk and tell them the LLs agent has shut your hot water off with out a court order to do so and you want it back on. Your LLs agent the util re biller I think had no right to do a shut off , If your city inspections will not help then go file complaint with your states atty general consumer affairs rep and ask for help.


Senior Member
If in fact the hot water shutoff valves are accessable just turn them back on.

Pay the bill.

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