Can an addendum be added to a lease requiring tenants to pay extra if the heating bill goes over a certain amount?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Can an addendum be added to a lease requiring tenants to pay extra if the heating bill goes over a certain amount?

We are renting out an apartment and the tenants have asked for the rent to be raised and for heat/hot water (both gas) to be included in the rent. What I am wondering is if they plan on running up a huge bill and don’t want to pay for it. Can we add an addendum in the lease stating that if the heat/gas bill goes over X amount that the tenants will be charged for the overage?

Asked on October 11, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Property laws in Massachusetts are unique so I think that it may be best for you to consult with a real estate attorney in your area.  My gut instinct is to say no, if the rent included utilities it includes utilities.  While the addendum is a nice idea it does not sound like it will stand up in court.  I would advise to tell the tenants no, that the rent does not include utilitites and that they must pay their own. It may be in your best interest to lower the rent a few bucks in good faith to show them that you want them as tenants (assuming that you have checked them out and that you do want them).  Nothing big but a good faith gesture.  Better to lower the rent than lose the tenant sometimes.  Good luck. 


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