Dear PoP – Legal to live in a House without Electricity?

Photo from PoPville flickr user a.w.miller

“Dear PoP,

Does anyone know the legality of this:
The home next to me is being rented by a group of adults. they have lived in it without electricity for several months. is it legal to rent out or occupy a home without electricity? My concern is about the condition of the house after months of no electricity and that the inhabitants are using candles which could start a fire.”

Mike Ruppert from DCRA replies:

“If the building is owner occupied then they have the right to live “off the grid” if they choose to. If it’s a rental property, then we are charged with getting electricity restored to the property on behalf of the tenants in most cases. Not having electricity is typically an indicator that other serious life safety violations likely exist. We strongly urge the neighbor to contact us and get an inspector there immediately.”

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