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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009

    Default Increase in Utilities Midway Through Lease

    My question involves landlord-tenant law in the State of: Michigan

    We received a note from the leasing office stating the following:

    "Due to the increased operating costs many communities are now forcing residents to set up and pay for all their own utilities. These expenses can be very costly ranging up to hundreds of dollars a month.With monthly utility costs increasing drastically Hidden Valley Club must also accommodate that increased expense into the operating budget."

    It also states that we will charged an extra $30 per month starting Jan, 2010 in addition to the amount stated on our lease, which will be in effect until June 30, 2010 (a one-year lease). There are no phrases to the effect of "subject to change" on the leasing contract.

    Please advise if this is legal and what measures tenants might be able to take, thank you so much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006

    Default Re: Increase in Utilities Midway Through Lease

    if utilities are included in your lease in a general term such as "utilities included" and there is nothing that appears to allow a surcharge such as they are attempting, it sounds like they have no right to apply the surcharge.

    Without reading the lease in it's entirety, it is impossible to be sure but generally, most leases do not allow for a surcharge such as you were presented with. It sounds a bit out of th ordinary.

    You might consider a review by a local attorney if there is anything that appears to allow such a charge or be upfront about it and ask the LL where in your lease they are allowed to apply such a surcharge. If they cannot justify it by the terms of the lease, I would tell them that they have no legal claim to such a surcharge and that I expect them to rescind their demand.

    If you are positive it is not allowed, I would simply refuse to pay it. The LL, at worst, will attempt to evict which means going to court. Once in court, a judge will make the determination of the legality.

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