Can a landlord hold utility bills until the end of the lease and then take them out of the security deposit?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can a landlord hold utility bills until the end of the lease and then take them out of the security deposit?

My daughter has been renting a place for a year and they are moving now. The lease says that she pays all utilities and she has been paying everything on time, on a monthly basis, except for the water. Now the landlord is saying that she will show her the water bills for the last 12 months and take that amount out of the security deposit. Can she do that?

Asked on June 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If the lease requires your daughter to pay for water bills, she must pay them.

2) The landlord could seek to have your daughter pay them as they come up--or he can "hold them" and confront her with them all at once. The law lets him do either; what he can't do is to charge her more than she agreed to pay under the lease.

3) If the water bills or utility bills generally are made part of the rent that your daughter pays under the lease, then the landlord may well be able to take them out of the security deposit, since the security deposit may be used to satisfy unpaid rent. Alternately, he could sue for the money.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption