Can utility charges be added to your monthly rent afterthe lease is signed?

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Can utility charges be added to your monthly rent afterthe lease is signed?

I signed a 1 year lease with an apartment and I been here 4 months. The water bill was not included. However starting next month they want to charge for water bill. Is that right?

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A lease is a contract. Once it has been agreed to by both parties--typically evidenced by signing it--it may NOT be modified by either party without the consent or agreement of the other. So your landlord may NOT add utility charges, such as paying for water, unless there was something in the lease itself giving the landlord the right to do this (e.g. some term or clause which stated that utility or other charges may be added at landlord's option).


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