What are a tenant’s rights to make deductions from their rent?

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What are a tenant’s rights to make deductions from their rent?

My roommate and I deducted $30 from rent because trash and water are included and we did not have trash for a whole month. It took 7 days into the next month until we got a trash can. Now the landlord is adding the $30 to the next month’s rent and charging a late fee of $50.

Asked on October 19, 2011 under Real Estate Law, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Whether you were entitled to deduct what you did from your rental check depends upon what your presumed written lease states given the circumstances that you have written about. As such, you need to carefully read your lease in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

If you were expected to pay for something that you did not get (trash service) technically you should not have to pay for it. However, since trash service did not significantly impair your use of the premises for the one month period that you were without it, better practice would have been to pay the $30 charge to the landlord and constest it requesting its payment back to later on so as to not be assessed with a late fee.

I recommend that you sit down with your landlord over the situation and try to resolve it informally.

 

 


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