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

UPDATED: May 30, 2012

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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 10 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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