Is it legal for my landlord to change utility billing methods without telling me?

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Is it legal for my landlord to change utility billing methods without telling me?

My complex has just gone under new ownership and I recently signed a new lease agreement. The problem is that I used to pay a utility bill that was a flat rate ($40) and now the utility bill has been raised to $58 after the new lease agreement. I have discovered that management has changed the utility billing company and never told me about the difference in price that I might incur before I signed the lease agreement. Is it legal for management to change utility billing without telling me that the price will change?

Asked on August 2, 2011 California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to read the terms of your new lease agreement for your rented unit. Its terms and conditions control the obligations between you and the new landlord.

If the new written lease that you signed specifically states that your monthly utility bill is now $58.00 after it had been $40.00 under the old lease, then it makes no difference if management changed utility companies before you signed the new lease agreement with the $58.00 monthly charge so long as you always paid $40.00 monthly under the old lease.

Management has the right to change utility billing without telling you that the price will change if you sign a new lease with the new monthly utility charge stated.

 


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