Can A Landlord Turn Off Internet? (Find Out Now!)
The Internet has become an essential tool in modern society. Wifi is available in even the most remote locations. Our phones are usually able to access the internet when wifi cannot. Landlords are now including the internet in rental agreements more than ever. It may confuse you then, if you find your landlord decides to turn off your internet one day.
Your landlord should not turn off the internet if it is included in the rental price. If your landlord turns off the internet check your lease to be sure internet is included. When internet is not mentioned in the lease you may need to seek your own internet service. If internet is included, reach out to your landlord with an official letter requesting he or she restore internet service.
Check Your Lease
If your landlord has shut off your internet you should determine whether or not it is within his or her rights to do so. The first place you should check for this is your rental agreement.
Is Internet Mentioned In Lease
Internet is not always mentioned in the lease. If it is, then it may be mentioned with the other utilities in the dwelling. Your first step should be to determine if there is any mention of the internet in your lease.
Sometimes there is no mention of internet connection in the lease and you two have never had a conversation about the internet. When this occurs your landlord may have just been allowing you to use the internet for free. If he cuts it off you may not have much recourse.
Access To Internet
When your rental agreement does mention internet access you should read the section or sections carefully. If the lease simply mentions that you will have access to internet hookups, or the ability to install such services, you may be out of luck.
Your lease may not explicitly mention that internet will be provided by the landlord. When this is the case you may have to provide your own.
Internet Included In Rental Price
If your lease states that internet is included in the price of rent, but your landlord has turned off the internet, you should pursue the matter further. Be sure to copy the exact verbiage from your lease and send your landlord an official letter.
Your landlord is providing this utility as something built into the price of rent. This means it is his obligation to live up to his or her end of the deal. Keep in mind, there are several reasons your internet may turn off.
Related Guide: Can My Landlord See My Internet History?
Reasons The Internet Can Turn Off
When your internet turns off, you may immediately think the worst. Before you make accusations towards your landlord or believe the bill has gone delinquent, consider reasons your internet may be down.
If your internet has been turned off there may be a technical issue involved. Many connectivity issues reside in the router. If you have access to your router look to see if it is blinking abnormally. Try to reset or restart the device. You can also try to troubleshoot whatever devices you are using to access the internet.
Tip: Be sure to troubleshoot and restart your equipment before you contact your landlord about the internet being down.
Just like with other utilities, your internet can be turned off for non-payment. If you are responsible for paying for or contributing to it be sure you are up to date. If you are up to date with payments or not responsible for them you should contact your landlord. It is possible your landlord has unintentionally missed internet payments.
It is also possible your landlord has intentionally shut off your access to the internet. If you are certain your landlord has shut off your internet access and internet is in your lease you should pursue this matter further.
When your internet is shut off be sure to document when the issue first started, and the research you did to come to this conclusion (contacting internet provider, testing for internet access, etc.).
When you find out your landlord has turned off your internet and your lease states internet is included, you should reach out. If you believe this may be a simple error you can quickly reach out to the landlord in hopes that he can rectify the issue within days or even hours.
If, however, you believe the shutoff was intentional, you should send an official correspondence.
Send Official Letter
When your landlord intentionally shuts off your internet in conflict with your lease agreement you should contact him in an official letter. Using certified mail if possible, you should describe the situation in detail and your desired outcome.
Be sure to include the section of the lease that explains that the internet is included with the rental fee. You should include the date of the letter and also the date the internet stopped working. If you have any additional support (communication with internet provider or other information) you can include that as well.
Pursue Matter Further If Necessary
If you have reached out to your landlord but not heard a reply to your messages you may need to pursue the issue further. When you receive no improvement after you send an official letter you may need to pursue the matter further.
You can reach out to a tenant advocate to see if you have grounds to take the matter to court. Also, if you happen to purchase additional internet, be sure to keep all the bills. You may be able to request this money back from your landlord if the matter does go to small claims court.
What If I Am Being Evicted?
Your landlord may have turned off your internet due to non-payment. In fact, you may notice that your internet shutoff coincides with the start of the eviction process. If your landlord cuts off your internet or any other utilities during the eviction process you should inform a tenant advocate or your legal council.
Even if you have not paid rent, your landlord should not cut off any of your utilities in the eviction process in order to force you out. Check your local laws in regards to eviction matters as they vary from state to state.
Can My Landlord Put Limits On My Internet Usage?
If your landlord includes internet access, he or she may also include an addendum for internet usage. A usage addendum may be an attachment to a lease or a separate document. Regardless, these addendums can potentially limit your internet usage.An addendum can include several internet restrictions, including usage restrictions. If you sign an internet addendum agreement you effectively agree to these terms. If, however, you did not agree to restricted usage you may want to ask your landlord if he or she has imposed limits on your internet.
Can A Landlord Force Me To Choose A Specific Internet Company?
If your landlord tells you that you need to sign up with a specific internet provider you should check your lease first. Normally, your landlord can not force you to sign up with a specific utility provider unless it is written in the lease.Sometimes landlords receive kickbacks or discounts from companies if they get their tenants to sign up for their services. This does not mean you have to, unless it is written out in your rental agreement or you have agreed to do so in another capacity.
How Do I Reset My Wifi If The Router is In My Landlord’s Apartment?
If your internet has gone down due to a power outage or for some other reason, your wifi may not connect. Often the best way to get your internet back online is to check your router. Often unplugging or resetting the router will help get your wifi back online.If only your landlord has access to the router you should contact him or her as soon as possible in order to get the internet back online. While you wait for this, you can also try troubleshooting your devices. If you have access to the customer information, or are a registered user on the account you may also be able to get some help from customer service.
Summing It Up
When you discover your internet service is turned off you should first determine the root cause. Sometimes there is a technical issue or perhaps the internet was shut off due to non-payment. If your landlord is not working because your landlord turned it off you should check your lease.
When your lease does not mention anything about internet connection you may be responsible for providing your own internet. If, however, your landlord has included internet in the rental price and written this in the lease then you should pursue matters further.
Write your landlord an official letter. In the letter you should include when you noticed the internet was shut off, and the day you wrote the letter. Also include the verbiage in the lease that explains that the internet is included in the rent. You should also include any other materials you have to support your case.
Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.
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