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Old 11-24-2012, 05:34 AM
2 posts, read 9,662 times
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I just moved in to New Jersey and
I am about to sign a lease for renting an apartment in Princeton area.
In the contract it says I will be responsible for paying
the sewage electricity and gas fees, and the landlord will cover all the rest
including the water.
My question is, is it customary here that the tenants pay for the sewage fees?
I had the impression that it falls under the landlord fees.
Since time is pressing with signing the contract I will appreciate
a quick response
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:19 AM
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I don't know, but I don't pay that. I would imagine the landlord can put whatever he wants, whether "customary" or not. Do you know what kind of charge it'll be? If it's small and the apartment is a good deal, maybe just sign if you really like it.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:22 PM
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We rent in a condo development in West Windsor. It is written in our lease that we pay water & sewer charges.

Water & sewer charges amount to a little over $500. per year for us.

I'm sure that owners that don't ask the renter to cover water/sewer charges just increase the rent to cover it.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:39 PM
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Some do, some don't.

Some LL's will specify which utilities they will cover and which utilities the tenant is responsible for. Other LL's don't pay any utilities at all.

I don't pay for any.

Are you about to move in to a complex or a house with apts in it?

Sewer is a set yearly fee. Water is based on consumption. If you're moving in to a house with apts in it, you might have well water. All that costs is the electric to run the pump.

If it IS house with apts in it, are there coin operated washer/dryer in the basement or an out building? Maybe the LL didn't split the utilities and get a separate water meter to run the washers/dryer so there is no way he can figure out what to charge to whom, so he pays for all water. Maybe he can't figure out how to charge his tenants for water b/c he hasn't separated utilities, so he pays for it all.

In the property I have no separate water meters for the apts, I get the bill, I split it evenly among all the tenants (one apt has 5, the other has 3) and that's how it works. They include it in their rent after I send them a copy of the bill and what they individually owe me for water.

Either or any way, yes. It's "customary" and up to the LL to state what, if anything, s/he will pay for. Trust me, you're already paying for any expense the LL says is "included" in your rent.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:52 PM
Location: NJ
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I don't think it is abnormal.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:32 AM
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I think NJ is unusual in having a flat annual charge for sewage. In my town it's $250/year per household, regardless of how many toilets. In other states I've lived in, it's based on water consumption.

I have two rental units (one in my two-family house and also a condo). I pay the sewage fee myself, but the fee is factored into the rent. I can see having the tenant pay it. I might do that myself in the future. Something to think about.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:09 AM
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most landlords just figure it into the rent since it is not always something easy to prorate and show to the tenent the bill. Also, I think the bill will be sent to the property owner anyway, so it is just easier to pay it and add a little to the rent each month
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:00 PM
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Like Sawdustmaker said, every situation is different depending on what the LL wants/needs to do at that particular property. In general though, since sewer is a fixed charge and often run through a local municipal authority with the power to place a lien, many landlords simply 'include' the sewer fees in the rent and pay them themselves, that's what I do. Everything else is the tenants responsibility. IME, most times when you see a private LL including utilities, it's because it is a multi-unit house that doesn't have individual service to each unit installed.

So to answer your question...no, there is nothing odd about that setup.
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