Can a landlord escalate electric bills without showinga tenantthe bill or tellingthem how the charges are arrived at?

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Can a landlord escalate electric bills without showinga tenantthe bill or tellingthem how the charges are arrived at?

My landlord has escalated the electric charges by about $50 per month every month, regardless of usage. I have tested him, once for 2 months, again for 6 weeks, in that I took all showers at gym, did no wash at home, used small convection oven rather than electric stove oven, replaced fridge with EnergyStar one. Yet, it continues to go up. First month I hadn’t spent a single night here, and it is $232. Refuses to show me the combined bill or give me his “formula” for calculating it. Paid my own electric for 20 years previous, tops $75 in winter.

Asked on January 31, 2012 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is entirely possible that your landlord can increase the charges he or she is assessing you with respect to your electricity bills without showing you the actual charges from the utility company or advising you how the charges resulted. If he or she does this, it does not make the process right.

You should request a copy of each month's utility bill for the electrical charges for your records from the landlord to make sure you are actually paying the amount that is actually being assessed your rental. If he or she does not give you a copy of the utility bill wanted to be paid, I would not pay the bill until you receive a copy in hand.


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