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Can a New Title Holder Turn Off the Electricity and Water Once It Has Been Transferred at a Foreclosure Sale?

When a foreclosed property has been sold and its title has been transferred to a new owner, the first decision he or she must make is whether to turn off the utilities in his or her new home. Although every foreclosure sale is different and comes with its own determining factors, there are laws in place that outline how to move forward.

New Title Holders Absorb Continuing Utility Costs

As part of the transfer process, the new title holder assumes the duty to cover any continuing utility costs. This can include fees in addition to electricity and water, like garbage pickup, sewage and street cleaning. Although the new title holder is entitled to immediate ownership of the foreclosed property in question, he or she must first obtain a writ before shutting off the utilities. This law protects tenants from the act of ‘self-help eviction’ or an eviction without the proper authority.

Remember That Tenants Might Still Occupy the Foreclosed Property

There are situations in which tenants who haven’t violated their agreement with the initial owner still occupy the foreclosed property. As the new title holder, you can either agree to allow the occupants to continue residency or ask them to vacant. Keep in mind that they are protected from eviction for a certain period of time. Also remember that utility companies offer numerous options for this specific situation.

For more information about foreclosure sales, contact a real estate attorney today.