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Old 01-07-2010, 05:29 PM
 
1 posts, read 11,492 times
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My landlord is making us pay their electricity. We all live in a duplex and it is one metered and we are paying everything. I thought a one metered complex was to be paid by the landlord. Anyone know the laws on this? Also, these landlords will not make the repairs I have requested since August, nor have the fixed my back door so that it will close all the way or put a lock on it.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:05 AM
 
2,228 posts, read 1,983,186 times
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Our tenants pay their own utilities, we have a few small houses. Otherwise we've seen the heat cranked up while the front door was wide open, the hose running for days because no one shut it off, etc......
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:39 AM
 
14,199 posts, read 26,341,715 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newone1 View Post
My landlord is making us pay their electricity. We all live in a duplex and it is one metered and we are paying everything. I thought a one metered complex was to be paid by the landlord. Anyone know the laws on this? Also, these landlords will not make the repairs I have requested since August, nor have the fixed my back door so that it will close all the way or put a lock on it.
Don't do it... so many times these rental deals end up with you holding the bag.

If the other person's utilities are included in their rent... what would happen if you turned them off? What does your Rental Agreement State?

My best guess is the unit is not a legal duplex...

I can tell you what happened in my State... there is a Duplex and each unit has separate gas and electric meters... tenants at the time asked that a yard light be installed... yard light uses a 13 watt bulb and at the time cost .25 cents of electricity per month.

New tenant moves in and cites a local regulation that Landlord is responsible for common area utilities... no exceptions.

Because the tenant insisted... the owner had no choice... an electrician was called to install a third meter just for the yard light and lawn sprinkler timer...

The meter never registers any electricity usage... but each month the owner must pay the $5 minimum service fee.

It's up to you... if the unit is illegal or the Landlord decided he wants you out... either way you may have to move.

As for repairs... in my State it depends on two things for the most part...

1) Is the problem a habitability issue as defined by code... no heat, water, leaky roof, unable to lock doors and windows... etc.

2) Does the item constitute a reduction of service... if you rented a unit with a working hot tub and the tub remains broken... you have received less than you are contractually entitled.

Always good to make maintenace requests in writing with a copy for yourself if there is any possibility of a misunderstanding.

Some states allow a tenant the right to repair certain items of serious nature, after giving the owner notice, and then deduct the cost of repair.

For legal opinions... the only one that counts is from the lawyer representing you.

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 01-08-2010 at 12:49 AM..
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:51 AM
 
Location: Southwest Nebraska
1,297 posts, read 2,584,635 times
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My wife and I are new landlords and we well be paying all electric bill. We charge an extra 200.00/mo which will probably not be enough in winter but summer it should be twice as much. We will use extra savings for following winter. Also we will only allow thermostat to be set no higher than 72 in winter. If bill is considerably high we will lock it or charge higher rent for next lease. The average electric bill now is 150/mo but we have fixed all vents which were leaking air outside and have installed new windows and front door so that should lower costs.
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Old 01-08-2010, 11:43 AM
 
23,991 posts, read 32,322,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneSA View Post
I have some 4 plex buildings and in each one, all with one meter, I divide the water bill by 4 and each tenant is responsible for that amount. Each apartment has one person in and no washer dryer. The tenants all agreed to it. It's in the lease. I give each a copy of the water bill with thier share marked on it. No problems, no suprises. If they use alot, they pay more, not me.
Not saying anything negative against you, but if I were looking for a rental I'd NEVER agree to something like that. You never know if your neighbor is going to let a leaky toilet run and run without contacting the landlord, or take a long shower every day, or whatever.
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Old 01-08-2010, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Laurel, Maryland
835 posts, read 2,147,579 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Not saying anything negative against you, but if I were looking for a rental I'd NEVER agree to something like that. You never know if your neighbor is going to let a leaky toilet run and run without contacting the landlord, or take a long shower every day, or whatever.
I live in a duplex where I pay gas and electric (separate meters for the two units); however, my landlord pays water because there is only one meter for that. Originally, we were to also pay water. Landlord was just going to split the water bill in half. We questioned the fairness of this because our neighbors constantly had various family members move in and out and the occupancy would range from 2 people to 8 people and even when someone wasn't residing there, they were always coming over to do laundry. Our household, on the other hand, has gone down from 4 to 2 over the years (kids grew up, woohoo!).

Since the day we moved in and up until now (12 years and multiple different tenants next door), the landlord has paid water. He has never asked us to pay (even though we questioned how it would be split, we were ready and willing to pay). Apparently, it isn't very much any way. He has stated that if he ever noticed a big increase in usage, he may have to reevaluate the situation and have us pay (it hasn't happened in 12 years so far, knock on wood!)

I think without separate meters, someone's always gonna feel cheated (i.e., paying for more than they used.) However, I think as long as your rent is reasonable and its not an apartment, the tenant should pay all utilities and have those utilities in their name. Landlord and tenant shouldn't have to rely on each for utilities to be paid.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:10 PM
 
1 posts, read 11,155 times
Reputation: 10
I live in a duplex in Philly and i only pay gas and electric..but yet my landlord sends a copy of the water bill to us at times and since there is only one meter he spilts up the bill when it is over usage..and my neighbor washes clothes every single day as well as has company stay with her. Is that legal that my landlord can do that?
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Old 05-01-2010, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Baywood Park
1,634 posts, read 4,295,040 times
Reputation: 627
Quote:
Originally Posted by killer2021 View Post
Have you ever had any problems with people using excessive amounts of electricity or water?
I was going to ask this today.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tworent View Post
Never agree to pay for the unknown.

Can you tell me one thing on why this would be a good idea?
I'm converting a detached building into a studio. Everything will be on one meter. I would like to add an estimated utility amount into the rent payment, so they're basically paying utilities anyway. Good news, is that I live on the coast of CA where the weather is essentially the same all year, not too hot and not too cold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by janetvj View Post
My daughter rents a small studio apartment that is in a building with commercial space (a mortgage company on the ground floor). There is no separate meter for her unit, so the utilities are included in the rent. I presume it would be more costly for the landlord (the mortgage company) to install a separate meter, than to estimate the small amount of electricity she would be using for heat, a/c, lights, cooking, etc. and include it in the rent. They renovated space they weren't using and created a studio apartment just to generate a little income. It really cost them very little to convert what originally was an attached garage on the back of a rowhouse into first a lunchroom, and now a studio apartment.
basically what I'm doing. In my area of CA, to go the legal, permitted, and separate meter route would cost a FORTUNE.
Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Not saying anything negative against you, but if I were looking for a rental I'd NEVER agree to something like that. You never know if your neighbor is going to let a leaky toilet run and run without contacting the landlord, or take a long shower every day, or whatever.
Yes. I rented a studio once. I lived behind my landlord. My elec. and gas were on a separte meter, I paid. My LL paid water (one meter) and trash. I let my toilet run for 6 weeks. I was young and didn't think about stuff like that. I gave him an extra $100 when his bill came. Then he told me the obvious, "if there's a leak...TELL ME !!!!!".
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:49 PM
 
3 posts, read 11,360 times
Reputation: 10
Yes. Not all, but some tenants look at this situation as they are not paying for it , therefore they do not care. I am in this exact predicament at this time. I am currently researching to see if there are laws that protect me as a landlord from a tenant that is excessively using the utilities that I provide. And to top it off this tenant is behind on rent. Go figure.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:24 AM
 
Location: St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
22,480 posts, read 27,048,543 times
Reputation: 23029
If your tenant is behind on rent then take the necessary steps to be rid of him/her. There's no law that I'm aware of which can protect you generally for excessive use of utilities unless the tenant is acting maliciously by leaving faucets running, installing power-guzzling machinery/appliances without permission, etc. Some landlords put a dollar "cap" on utilities with anything over and above paid by the tenant while maybe raising the rent to cover the worst case scenario would work for you. Obviously the best solution is to have separate metering but the initial outlay is pretty steep. Good luck.
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