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  1. #1

    Default Landlord Adding Utilities Not in Original Lease

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: California
    We have been living in this complex for a little over four years, signed two leases during that time, and now are month to month. Every apartment received a notice today that (although the lease has us responsible only for gas and electricity), we would now be responsible (in 30 days) for water, sewer and trash. Additionally, this will be determined by number of tenants in each unit. The actual notice made no mention of leases or lease modifications, just sort "oh yeah, you'll have to pay for this now...)

    This is confusing because:
    A. Can they add utilities without modifying the lease? (or does this count as a lease modification?)
    B. How are they going to determine these amounts if it's gauged by "number of people living in the apartment"? Seems a bit loosey-goosey to me and a couple of other tenants.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Landlord Adding Utilities Not in Original Lease

    If you are month to month, NO LEASE, usually, there is a 30 or 60 day notice involved if the LL is to change any condtions, increase rents, additional untility charges etc. Unless it is under rent regulation, with it's limitations, the LL can add charges after notice, and that would be a modifiation, and there's no law that says it can't be done.

    As to how the number of people works, I own a 3 family rental, I normally like to rent 2 people to each unit. However, at one point, I got one guy occupying one unit downstairs, a couple with a child on the way rented another and then their parents moved in (5 people together), and another 2 upstairs. I got 8 people altogther here, so if I was to apportion some fees by people, the middle unit with 5 people would pay 5/8, and the one guy downstairs would pay 1/8 etc.

    I was going to apportion my water once ( I got one main meter), with each unit in the building 1/3, but the single guy in the one apartment wanted to know why he's paying 1/3, yet there's 5 people upstairs, they take long showers in the morning, and because of it, he's got no hot water to boot. Guess the guy had a point of 1/3 not being fair if you look at it his way, and with no hot water, adding insult to injury.

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