What can I do if my property manager is overcharging me on a monthly drainage fee and is threatning to evict if I do not pay the amount?

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What can I do if my property manager is overcharging me on a monthly drainage fee and is threatning to evict if I do not pay the amount?

I have done my due diligence and am confident in my position about this overage. What can I do to forestall an eviction? I pay my rent in full and on time and have done so for my entire tenancy of a bit less than 5 years.

Asked on January 14, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First, you only need to pay the fee at all if it's in your lease to pay it: a lease is a contract, and a tenant only needs to pay those fees or amounts contained in the lease.
If the fee is in the lease, you only have to pay the correct amount. If the landlord tries to evict you for not paying the fee, you'll get a notice of a court proceeding (he can't simply change the locks on you himself, etc.); watch out for it and follow it's instructions *exactly* to make sure you get your court date. To evict, the landlord will have to prove that you owe the money--that is, that he is charging the correct amount--and you can provide contrary evidence. 


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