Am I liable for electricity if my copy of the lease does not state that I am?

I recently moved out and received a final accounting letter. My deposit of $400 was not returned and now they’re charging me with unpaid electricity for the 10months that I was there and also a non-compliance fee of $150. I understand that they are allowed to charge me the fee since it says it in the lease but I remember them saying that all utilities, including internet, was included in the rent. There is no indication on the copy my lease that I am responsible for electricity.

Asked on June 24, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Oregon


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If your written lease does not state that you are responsible for electricity in your former rental (or any utility charge) then you should not be required to pay such after the move out. If you were responsible for the eletricity on the unit you rented, you would have received a monthly invoice from the former landlord for it.

I would write the former landlord a letter regarding this issue demanding your deposit of $400 back in a set time. Keep a copy of the letter for future use. If not returned, your option is small claims court.

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