what can i do about my landlord?

if my landlord does not keep up with the maintenance of the apartment i live in and it costs me money because of her negligance even after i have told her about it. what can i do? my light bill for a one bedroom apartment was close to 300.00 and i am never home hardly and i don’t even hardly turn the a/c or lights on. she had a guy come out and check it. he said there was a problem and that is why my bills were so high because it was using alot of power. i still owe her 280.00 but i used that to pay the light. i kept telling her, what can i do?

Asked on May 21, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Texas


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I think you need to talk to a landlord-tenant attorney in your area about this.  It's an unusual situation, and it's always best to make sure someone takes a look at all the facts to get reliable advice.  I'm sure there's more to this!  One place you can find the lawyer you need is our website, http://attorneypages.com

There are two possible reasons for that electric bill -- assuming that the rates in your town haven't gone completely crazy.  One would be that you're paying for electricity that's being used in other parts of the building, and that's totally unfair, of course.  The other is that there's a "problem" like a short circuit, which could be dangerous and might even cause a fire.  Either way, the landlord can't ignore this.

J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The best thing to do is approach her once more and explain this cannot continue. If she does not do anything you should contact a local attorney who handles landlord tenant issues. Ask them how best to proceed. You can also proceed on your own by initiating an action usually the clerks are very helpful in this type of instance

you need to review the terms of your lease, what is said about upkeep and maintenance. If she is clearly in violation you can also move out if that's something you might want to do. your best bet is to speak with a local attorney and get them to advise you how best to proceed in your area

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