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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    1

    Default Utility

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of Arizona.

    I moved into my place about two years ago. There is two houses on the property, and I am in the main house. It has an attached guest house. They are rented out separately, as is the other house. Unfortunately, I learned after moving in that the guest house runs on the same gas and electric meter, so they are both in my name. It states in the lease that I am responsible for my own utilities. It says nothing about paying for the other tenants or being responsible for collecting from them.

    A little over a year ago the landlords moved someone into the guest house, having no communication with me about the fact people were moving in or regarding utilities. The new tenants and I arranged that they would pay 2/5 and us 3/5 of the bills. Unfortunately, I would pay the bills and they would pay me back when they felt like it. Sometimes getting months behind. They moved out in the middle of last month and still owe me hundreds in utilities. I was told by the landlord to take the tenants to court over it.

    The last week of last month, the landlords had people working in the guest house and getting it ready to be rented. Using utilities I am paying for. I spoke with them and explained that I can't afford to pay their other tenants bills and hope to be reimbursed. It was decided that $150 would be added to the new tenants rent for utilities and my rent would go down by $150. Seems fair to me, and I am fine with that. The landlords refuse to put the utilities in their name.

    On the 1st new tenants moved in. They paid their full amount, including utilities, as agreed. However, when I went to pay rent I was informed it is the full amount until the 1st of next month. Then it will go down by the $150. The gas and electric meters get read around the week of the 20th and I pay the utilities before the first. This means that I am still paying their bills as well as mine and waiting to be reimbursed via lower rent.

    This doesn't seem right to me. Maybe I am just confused and that is how it should be, but it just doesn't seem right. Especially considering if the new tenants move out on the 23rd (they aren't but hypothetically) I will be back to paying the full amount on the first.

    Atop that I have not had functioning plumbing in the kitchen in 2 years, I spent all summer with no working coolers, one of my bathroom toilets doesn't flush properly nor does the sink have working cold water, I have a curling leak into my bedroom closet, there is a leak in my kitchen rotting out the cabinets that sit on the floor, I have an electrical issue in my living room, and the pump to the pool doesn't work at all. Despite my efforts to get the landlords to repair these things they won't. And I have told them many times, taken pictures, put it in writing, and so on. Any money we spend to try and repair the issues does not come off rent. Atop that, they expect us to maintain the entire 4 acres. That includes all the tree work (12 fruit trees, like 20 palms, 5 or 6 mature eucalyptus, a few mature pines, two olive trees, among others). That is not in my lease either, and any money we spend does not get reimbursed. I have 10 super tall Palmas that have dead fronds falling onto the property and my patio furniture that we are going to have to pay to be trimmed, hundreds of dollars.

    I would move, but I can't afford to, and I don't know what to do at this point.

    Am I mistaken on my feelings/thoughts about the utility situation being wrong, and what can I do about the other issues?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,726

    Default Re: Utility

    Quote Quoting vbrowne1
    View Post
    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of Arizona.

    I moved into my place about two years ago. There is two houses on the property, and I am in the main house. It has an attached guest house. They are rented out separately, as is the other house. Unfortunately, I learned after moving in that the guest house runs on the same gas and electric meter, so they are both in my name. It states in the lease that I am responsible for my own utilities. It says nothing about paying for the other tenants or being responsible for collecting from them.

    A little over a year ago the landlords moved someone into the guest house, having no communication with me about the fact people were moving in or regarding utilities. The new tenants and I arranged that they would pay 2/5 and us 3/5 of the bills. Unfortunately, I would pay the bills and they would pay me back when they felt like it. Sometimes getting months behind. They moved out in the middle of last month and still owe me hundreds in utilities. I was told by the landlord to take the tenants to court over it.

    The last week of last month, the landlords had people working in the guest house and getting it ready to be rented. Using utilities I am paying for. I spoke with them and explained that I can't afford to pay their other tenants bills and hope to be reimbursed. It was decided that $150 would be added to the new tenants rent for utilities and my rent would go down by $150. Seems fair to me, and I am fine with that. The landlords refuse to put the utilities in their name.

    On the 1st new tenants moved in. They paid their full amount, including utilities, as agreed. However, when I went to pay rent I was informed it is the full amount until the 1st of next month. Then it will go down by the $150. The gas and electric meters get read around the week of the 20th and I pay the utilities before the first. This means that I am still paying their bills as well as mine and waiting to be reimbursed via lower rent.

    This doesn't seem right to me. Maybe I am just confused and that is how it should be, but it just doesn't seem right. Especially considering if the new tenants move out on the 23rd (they aren't but hypothetically) I will be back to paying the full amount on the first.

    Atop that I have not had functioning plumbing in the kitchen in 2 years, I spent all summer with no working coolers, one of my bathroom toilets doesn't flush properly nor does the sink have working cold water, I have a curling leak into my bedroom closet, there is a leak in my kitchen rotting out the cabinets that sit on the floor, I have an electrical issue in my living room, and the pump to the pool doesn't work at all. Despite my efforts to get the landlords to repair these things they won't. And I have told them many times, taken pictures, put it in writing, and so on. Any money we spend to try and repair the issues does not come off rent. Atop that, they expect us to maintain the entire 4 acres. That includes all the tree work (12 fruit trees, like 20 palms, 5 or 6 mature eucalyptus, a few mature pines, two olive trees, among others). That is not in my lease either, and any money we spend does not get reimbursed. I have 10 super tall Palmas that have dead fronds falling onto the property and my patio furniture that we are going to have to pay to be trimmed, hundreds of dollars.

    I would move, but I can't afford to, and I don't know what to do at this point.

    Am I mistaken on my feelings/thoughts about the utility situation being wrong, and what can I do about the other issues?
    You really need to move out. The landlord is seriously taking advantage of you and you honestly need to move out. I know that you believe that you cannot afford to do so, but the situation is not going to get any better.

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