Do we have to pay the entire electric for a separate renter in an efficiency attached to our house?

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2012

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Do we have to pay the entire electric for a separate renter in an efficiency attached to our house?

We have only 1 electric meter. Our only shared space is the laundry room. In the lease we are supposed to pay all utilities for the whole house and the single person in the efficiency. There are 2 people there now and 3 kids every other weekend. I have called the landlord and the renter numerous times with no results. This has been going on for months and I need help.

Asked on February 21, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Maryland


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

The best way to answer your question is for you to carefully read the presumed written lease that you have concerning electric bills. If the lease states how that is to be paid, the lease controls in the absence of conflicting state law.

My experience is that most counties and states require separate meters for each rental and if there are not separate meters, the landlord usually pays the electrical bill and not the tenant.

I suggest that you contact the local building and permit department to see if the one meter for multiple rentals is allowed. I suspect that it is not. If not allowed, you should have to pay the electric bill for another renter.

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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