Am I obligated to pay utilities if I was orignally told all utilities were included?

Asked on May 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written lease for a definite term (for example, the common one-year lease), if the lease does not require you to pay for utilities, the landlord may not make you pay them during the term of that lease; upon expiration or termination, the landlord could add the utilities to any renewal or subsequent lease. But while that lease is in force, the landlord may not change or add to its terms, or increase what you have to pay.

If  you have an oral lease, you are a month to month tenant. In that case, the landlord could change or terminate the lease on a month's notice, so you could be required to pay for utilities after 30 days notice.

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