AmI responsible for paying for hot water even if my lease says no?

My lease says we were not suppose to pay hot water.

Asked on December 5, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New York


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written lease for the rental that you are occupying with your landlord stating that you are not responsible for the payment of the hot water (presumed propane heating or electrical heating for the water) then you are not responsible to pay for the heating.

The reason for this is that your written lease with your landlord sets forth the terms and obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law. If you landlord is insisting that you are to pay for the hot water, I would write him or her a letter in response setting forth your position and keep a copy of it for future need and reference.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A lease is a contract; its terms bind both parties (landlord and tenant), and neither one may change or add to the terms of the lease without the agreement of the other. If your lease does not require you to pay for the hot water, you  do not need to pay for  it--your landlord is free to add that to the next lease when this one expires, but he cannot add a new cost or term to a currently in effect or in force lease.

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