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Old 11-12-2006, 03:44 PM
 
6 posts, read 32,728 times
Reputation: 10

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I know this question may sound little bit out of league but any advice appreciated. After gaining great education I moved to Jersey City and I rented a decent apartment in a house on top floor in affluent heights area of JC.

My landlord told me and is part of lease agreement that heat and hotwater included, now after staying here for 4 months we had heating started in the month of October and my utility bill jumped from average 40 dollars to 250 dollars a month. I checked the bill and there is a gas delivery charge of 160 dollars. Subsequently I checked further by asking other tenants (basement and groundfloor tenants) and they told me that for them they don't even have to pay electricity (everything included in rent).

Suddenly I realized that I am actually paying for gas and electricity for entire house including all other tenants. The heat system is powered through gas and that is connected to my gas meter. Other electricity and gas meter are not working and only one electricity and gas meter is working which is mine.

My lease agreement clearly states that heat and hot water included and electricity I have to pay myself. Now what are my options? Should I just talk to landlord or directly take matter with corporations ? Landlord is littlebit crazy kind and I think I may have to involve authorities, if that stage is reached where should I complain or should I just get the help of attorney.

btw, for all those folks who want to move into JC, I would say big NO if you have kids and family. It is good for living closer to NYC but bad school system and overall parking problems make it worst place for living. Jersey city heights only good area with peaceful indian community...otherwise town is taken over by lower socioeconomic inner city kind of crowd. My old 190000 miles driven camry was vandalized just because probably it was parked on the street and I am sure it was vandalised by people living in the house right across where it was parked.

If you want to raise kids and family and have a good school system go to south and central jersey or somewhere else but not in JC.

In any case I would appreciate your response and help in my problem.

thanks in advance,

Rental7

Last edited by rental7; 11-12-2006 at 04:03 PM..
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Old 11-12-2006, 06:31 PM
 
17 posts, read 72,131 times
Reputation: 23
You are not responsible for the entire building. According to NJ state rental law, if the landlord doesn't provide a seperate meter for the apartment, he must include utilities in with the rent.

Here is the website for NJ HUD, they can also provide legal assistance.

http://www.hud.gov/local/nj/renting/tenantrights.cfm

Hope it works out for you, sounds like your landlord is a *****, or a crock pot to say the least.
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Old 11-14-2006, 10:07 AM
 
6 posts, read 32,728 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay_bones15 View Post
You are not responsible for the entire building. According to NJ state rental law, if the landlord doesn't provide a seperate meter for the apartment, he must include utilities in with the rent.

Here is the website for NJ HUD, they can also provide legal assistance.

http://www.hud.gov/local/nj/renting/tenantrights.cfm

Hope it works out for you, sounds like your landlord is a *****, or a crock pot to say the least.
Thanks Jay,

You have been really helpful.

Rental7
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Old 11-18-2006, 08:33 AM
 
6 posts, read 32,728 times
Reputation: 10
There are separate meters but mine one is the only functional one. So what does the law say about that.

Rental
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Old 11-18-2006, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Central Jersey - Florida
3,377 posts, read 13,820,842 times
Reputation: 2253
Quote:
Originally Posted by rental7 View Post
I know this question may sound little bit out of league but any advice appreciated. After gaining great education I moved to Jersey City and I rented a decent apartment in a house on top floor in affluent heights area of JC.

My landlord told me and is part of lease agreement that heat and hotwater included, now after staying here for 4 months we had heating started in the month of October and my utility bill jumped from average 40 dollars to 250 dollars a month. I checked the bill and there is a gas delivery charge of 160 dollars. Subsequently I checked further by asking other tenants (basement and groundfloor tenants) and they told me that for them they don't even have to pay electricity (everything included in rent).

Suddenly I realized that I am actually paying for gas and electricity for entire house including all other tenants. The heat system is powered through gas and that is connected to my gas meter. Other electricity and gas meter are not working and only one electricity and gas meter is working which is mine.

My lease agreement clearly states that heat and hot water included and electricity I have to pay myself. Now what are my options? Should I just talk to landlord or directly take matter with corporations ? Landlord is littlebit crazy kind and I think I may have to involve authorities, if that stage is reached where should I complain or should I just get the help of attorney.

btw, for all those folks who want to move into JC, I would say big NO if you have kids and family. It is good for living closer to NYC but bad school system and overall parking problems make it worst place for living. Jersey city heights only good area with peaceful indian community...otherwise town is taken over by lower socioeconomic inner city kind of crowd. My old 190000 miles driven camry was vandalized just because probably it was parked on the street and I am sure it was vandalised by people living in the house right across where it was parked.

If you want to raise kids and family and have a good school system go to south and central jersey or somewhere else but not in JC.

In any case I would appreciate your response and help in my problem.

thanks in advance,

Rental7
Looks like a case for "THE PEOPLES COURT" to me. Seriously, Start by asking the landord about your concerns, if that don't work there may be a landord / tennant mediator in Hudson County. Best suggestion is to save ALL your paperwork, bills, lease, etc. If you wind up in court that's what your going to need. By the way the "lower socioeconomic inner city kind of crowd" as you put it was there long before the Indian community arrived. You should have known that long before you decided to move to J.C., maybe you should have used your "great education" to make a better choice. Good luck.
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Old 11-24-2006, 07:59 PM
 
17 posts, read 101,673 times
Reputation: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by rental7 View Post
I know this question may sound little bit out of league but any advice appreciated. After gaining great education I moved to Jersey City and I rented a decent apartment in a house on top floor in affluent heights area of JC.

My landlord told me and is part of lease agreement that heat and hotwater included, now after staying here for 4 months we had heating started in the month of October and my utility bill jumped from average 40 dollars to 250 dollars a month. I checked the bill and there is a gas delivery charge of 160 dollars. Subsequently I checked further by asking other tenants (basement and groundfloor tenants) and they told me that for them they don't even have to pay electricity (everything included in rent).

Suddenly I realized that I am actually paying for gas and electricity for entire house including all other tenants. The heat system is powered through gas and that is connected to my gas meter. Other electricity and gas meter are not working and only one electricity and gas meter is working which is mine.

My lease agreement clearly states that heat and hot water included and electricity I have to pay myself. Now what are my options? Should I just talk to landlord or directly take matter with corporations ? Landlord is littlebit crazy kind and I think I may have to involve authorities, if that stage is reached where should I complain or should I just get the help of attorney.

btw, for all those folks who want to move into JC, I would say big NO if you have kids and family. It is good for living closer to NYC but bad school system and overall parking problems make it worst place for living. Jersey city heights only good area with peaceful indian community...otherwise town is taken over by lower socioeconomic inner city kind of crowd. My old 190000 miles driven camry was vandalized just because probably it was parked on the street and I am sure it was vandalised by people living in the house right across where it was parked.

If you want to raise kids and family and have a good school system go to south and central jersey or somewhere else but not in JC.

In any case I would appreciate your response and help in my problem.

thanks in advance,

Rental7
the apartments are probably illegal b/c the city building inspector has to check the properties of registered landlords on a yearly basis to make sure all important aspects of the tenants living situation meet up to local health and welfare/safety standards. a property owner should and can be fined and /or cited if the criteria is not met. if the other meters are inoperable, this means the building has not been inspected in some time, (or maybe never was) and in that case, is not registered as being a known two-three family house, and you can get the landlord on tax evasion. people who make rental income on owned property are charged higher property taxes, and if the tax dept. doesn't know he's renting units, he is'nt paying tax on that income. you should check the records at the local building inspector's office to see if the address you reside at is listed . if not, tell the office about the meter problem. they might refer you to fair housing, who might help you determine whether you have a substantiated case against him.careful if your landlord finds out you are trying to investigate him, because he can retaliate in some very ugly ways. one of them is, if you decide to move, and he doesn't return your security deposit, you are without legal recourse, b/c security deposits are not protected by n.j. state law when renting out of privately owned two/three family houses. so if you do decide to move, be smart and tell him to use the security deposit as the last month's rent. good luck,
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Old 11-24-2006, 09:28 PM
 
562 posts, read 2,529,770 times
Reputation: 144
I have one stupid question.. if on the lease it said that everything was included, who turned on the service under your name?? it should have been under the landlord's name.. I highly recommend to shut of the service and informed the landlord of your actions and give him noticed to turn it on under his name.. also i will recommend to look for another place away from JC.. if you are indian there is a town called Lyndhurst which is prob 95% indian, if you choose to live with indians.. or else there are many other towns that you can probably rent a spacious place and affordable..
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Old 03-11-2007, 08:10 PM
 
106 posts, read 863,557 times
Reputation: 124
rental7, I hope you are still here to see this.

You got a lot of incorrect advice here, and unfortunately this advice may have cost you a bundle.

If you are paying for other tenants (or your landlord) on what is supposed to be your meter only, you can sue your landlord under the consumer fraud statute. NJ has mandatory treble damages. That means for every $1 it cost you, you will presumably get $3. Sometimes people settle for less than three times the amount, but under the statute you would be awarded treble damages and attorney fees.

You can't be billed for or expected to pay for the utilities of others without your knowledge.

Some people do sign leases where they agree to pay for the whole building, or for another unit. That's their fault and their problem.
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Old 12-26-2008, 07:40 AM
 
6 posts, read 32,728 times
Reputation: 10
Everybody who helped me here thanks a bunch. Turned out that house is legal 2 family and basement was illegaly rented. I talked to landlord about this and he changed 180 degree and gave me significant discount on my rent to offset the loss on utility bills and now they are in order. Also city notified him of illegal basement renting and now the basement is no longer rented.

Meanwhile, the tenant who used to live on first floor decided to move out and they notified me that landlord is refusing to give the security deposit to them. Landlord is saying that the tenant had visitors from foreign country for more than 3 days and he still charged the same rent so he has right not to give deposit back which is 1-1/2 times rent. The couple is afraid of fighting as landlord is always screaming when argued back, so they are vacating without any dispute but they alerted me that this may happen to me the day I decided to leave the house.

My security deposit is significant, because it is a big 3 bedroom house for which I pay 1900 per month and security deposit is 1-1/2 times ($2850). Also for this year I did not get any bank statement which I did receive last year for the deposit interest.

The bank which owns the house has approached me to consider purchasing the house, because landlord is defaulting.

It turns out that landlord is not paying any mortgage but collect the rents and bank has initiated foreclosure process and bank wants me to consider purchase because of my good credit history and excellent income.

In case if I decided to vacate the house, how do I protect my security deposit ?

Is it ok to consider purchasing house ?

thanks,

Rental7
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