If renting a duplex that has a swimming pool, which tenant is responsible for the electric used to run the pool pump?

When I viewed the property where I reside I noticed the pool and its pump. I asked who pays for the electric? The landlord stated that it had a splitter and the electric was split between units and only cost a couple dollars a month. I moved in and received huge electric bills and checked the meters with a flick of the switches. I found out it was running solely on my electric. No where on my lease does it state that my unit is responsible for the pools electric. Am I? I am disabled, poor, and very depressed about this matter. What can I do?

Asked on September 20, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written lease, you need to carefully read it in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa over the rental in the absence of confliciting state law.

You need to do the following:

1. call the landlord over the excessive electrical charges to your unit for the swimming pool that you do not use and which the entirety of its costs is attributed to your unit seeking a way to reduce your electrical bill followed up with a confirming letter seeking a date to resolve this issue.

2. if not resolved by a set date with the landlord, go down to the local permit and building department to inquire about separate meters for the swimming pool and other requirements for such and see if people there can assist.

3. in your call with the landlord and following letter, reference what he stated about the electricity being split between the units and that it was not expensive for the swimming pool.

If you do not get the respinse desired, contact your local "legal aid" program assuming there is one or your local county bar association to see if there is a program where attorneys volunteer to help people such as you needing assistance in legal clinics.

Good luck.


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