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Old 07-19-2012, 12:55 AM
 
2 posts, read 3,292 times
Reputation: 10

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I have rented out an apartment with two other roommates just this past June. We had paid the security deposit and signed the lease despite a few damages (doors were kicked in, holes in the wall, and the house wasn't professionally cleaned yet.) Our mistake was moving in despite the damages because we needed a place to put our things since we needed to go home for the summer. Our landlord promised the repairs to be finished in a week, but it has now been a month and a half and there are still repairs to be done. It has been such an inconvenience. The apartment is currently unoccupied since we are away and are only using the house during school. We have only visited for one weekend to move a few boxes and we took a few showers and used the stove very little to cook food. Now, I have received a utilities bill for about $100 and this is beyond outstanding for a home that isn't being used even though we stayed for a weekend it wouldn't amount to this much! My concern is then that the repairmen are using the electricity to do their repairs; it seems the only logical answer for why the bill would be so high. When I brought this up to my landlord, she said she will not pay for any of the bill and it is our responsibility as stated in our lease. However, we had mentioned to her beforehand that we did not want to open a utilities account until we will fully occupy the house in late August but the lease stated that there must be no shut off period or else the landlord can fine us. We questioned (verbally nothing written out unfortunately)that what if the repairs take up a lot of electricity and she said if it was outstanding to tell her and that is what we are doing now but she claims she never said that So now we're stuck and I feel we are being taken advantaged of since we are only students, and I have never experienced a problem like this before. What can we do? Should we take her to court?
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Clinton, CT
25 posts, read 43,567 times
Reputation: 16
How disruptive is the repair work? I would think really your only out is if the repair work is so disruptive that a portion of the apartment is uninhabitable. If that's the case you could make a case that you are not responsible for the rent payment or utilities during that period. But if the place is still in okay shape that you could be living there without issue...I think you are on the hook. If the lease states utilities are your responsibility, then once you sign the bill is yours whether you are occupying the place or not.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:56 PM
 
7,266 posts, read 14,692,472 times
Reputation: 12150
Sounds like you are possibly paying for utilities in another part of the building otherwise why put a "no shut off" clause in. It might be advantageous to have electrician or utility person check to make sure the costs are just for that apartment. If you find out your are being charged for utilities outside of your apartment (landlord apartment, laundry room etc.) contact the state attorney general.

Although we live in Saratoga, have a 2400 sq. ft. house, pool, a/c, our cost per month is roughly $185, so it sounds to me that you are being charged for more than your apartment.

http://voices.yahoo.com/new-york-sta...-law-9797.html

http://www.nls.org/housing/withhold.htm
http://tenant.net/Rent_Laws/
http://www.lawny.org/index.php/housi...t-make-repairs
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