Do I have a right to actual copies of utility bills

I lease a portion of a building and have agreed to split the utilities 50/50 with
the owner. So far I have only received invoice for the electric, gas and water
charges. Invoice amounts seem high – can I legally ask for copies of the actual
utility bills?

Asked on October 10, 2017 under Business Law, Iowa

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can always "ask"--but unless either 1) it is in a written agreement that he needs to provide these, 2) you refuse to pay and he sues you for the money, in which case you can get them them in the lawsuit, or 3) you believe he overcharged you and you therefore sue him to get the overpayment back, in which case again, you can get the materials in the lawsuit, you cannot compel him to give them to you. That is, you need either a contractual basis for requiring the bills, or you need an active lawsuit, since in a lawsuit, there are mechanisms, called "disocovery," to get relevant information or documents from the other side. 


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