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Can household services be cut off when a tenant stops paying rent?

The quick answer is NO. The cutoff will occur depending on whether the bill for said service is in the name of the tenant or the owner.

Before continuing to develop the answer to today’s question, let’s take a look at the reference regulations regarding electricity, natural gas and water:


Electricity and natural gas supply cut


If the energy or water subscriptions are not paid, the commercial company has the right to request the suspension of the supply. . In this news, we will understand what is included in the supply cuts for unpaid bills.


The interruption of the energy supply can be due to a variety of reasons, such as a failure or a planned interruption of the maintenance of the transmission network. However, the most common are supply cuts due to non-payment of bills.

According to art.85.2, companies under Royal Decree No. 1955/2000 (LAW 3622/2000) (27 BOE) of December 1 may request a reduction in supply due to non-payment.

When an unpaid receipt occurs, the trading company has the right to request a reduction in the unpaid supply. In this sense, although each one has its own process, the steps that are usually followed are actually the same regardless of the company.

In view of the unpaid electricity or natural gas charges, the company issues a closure order to the distributor, who is responsible for the physical closure. A series of events take place before the distributors cut off the supply.


  • The user has 20 business days to pay the monthly electricity bill. If the invoice is not paid after this time, the company will send the receipt expiration notice to the user by telematic, postal or electronic means.


  • First notice of non-payment: The first notice is sent two months after the unpaid receipt. This notice shows the new term for the payment of the bill.


  • Second notification of non-payment: If there is no response to this notification after the first notification and no payment has been made, this notification will be sent again with an acknowledgment of receipt. The client will obtain another clause to pay the receipt.


  • Supply interruption: if the invoice is not paid after the second notification, a confirmation email will be sent to the user notifying them that the supply interruption will proceed.


The regulation related to this type of supply interruptions stipulates that the interruption cannot be carried out on holidays or without customer service. If the last day of payment is on the eve of a holiday, it will be transferred to the next business day.

Likewise, article 52 of Law No. 24/2013 of the Electric Power Industry establishes a set of basic supplies, which cannot be reduced due to non-payment:


  • Homes where the supply of light is vital for the operation of important medical equipment.
  • Habitual residence of very disadvantaged consumers who have social bonuses and are being cared for through social services because they are at risk of social exclusion due to income.
  • Properties with social discounts and housing for children under 16 years of age or people with dependency I or II or disability equal to or greater than 33%.

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Water supply cut off due to non-payment.


In accordance with the Service Regulations, the supply may also be reduced due to non-payment. Remember, the water supply in a particular area is controlled by a single company, not a free market like energy. Therefore, it is important to know which Water Company is responsible for our area.


Home tap water is a service of local capacity and municipal obligation [art.25.2 l and 26.1 a) of Law No. 7/1985 of April 2 establish the bases of local government (LRBRL)]. However, the law provides for a reduction in the offer for non-payment, provided that all debt collection channels have been exhausted.


In conclusion:

If the bills are in the name of the tenant, if you are the owner, you will not have a problem if the service is cut off due to the tenant’s non-payment to the electricity, water or gas supply company. Because the responsibility will be direct of the tenant.

But if the services are in the name of the owner, and if he decides not to pay these bills anymore, a serious problem can arise for the landlord because he can be sued for uninhabitable housing.

For all these reasons, it is important that electricity and gas contracts are in the name of the tenant. In addition to the fact that it is the tenant who pays for this service and it is he who must have the right to decide what power to contract or with which company to have said services.

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