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Unreasonable Landlord

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Unreasonable Landlord

Postby AshlingStone » Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:33 pm

I rent a month to month 500 sq ft garage-turned-apartment behind my landlord's 3000 sq ft house. My rental agreement includes all utilities. I have lived there for appx 7 months and each month he finds a way to try and blame me for his electric bill being high. (mind you he has ALL his house lights on, even the garage, all the time, a backyard with fountains and floodlights and a 2000 gallon waterfall pump running all the time).

He left me his electric bill on my door step with a post it saying to include 30% of the $360 bill (like $116). Mind you I have no AC (and suffer for it), no washer/dryer, no dishwasher. I am barely even home. When home I have the TV, a lamp and my PC on.

I told him all this and he said 30% is due with this month's rent no if's and's or but's.

Well, he never gave me written notice of this change, so I don't have to pay that electric right?

Also, I found out from the city that he is not allowed to be using my place for renting, it isn't up to code......

What should I do?
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Postby TenantNet » Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:52 pm

What city? The 30-day requirement for notice of change in lease terms may depend on where you are located.

You can get a device called Kill-A-Watt that tells you how much power you are actually using, assuming you don't have a separate meter.
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Postby JohnMI » Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:09 am

If it really isn't up to code, then you should move. You seem to want to use that as a bargaining chip with your landlord. That seems like a bad move to me. Arguing that you want to pay less to live in a place that is not a legal apartment is likely to not work out long-term.

That being said, no, he can't just charge you for a bill like that. I assume that your lease clearly states that all utilities are included, correct? If so, then tell him that you're not going to pay it because your lease states that he pays them all. But, don't expect things to just stay fine. Expect him to give proper notice that your rent is going up and/or to move. And, well, if you're unhappy with that new offer -- then move from the illegal apartment.

- John...
[I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice. Your mileage may vary. Look both ways before crossing.]
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