What to do ifI am footing the landlord’s electric bill?

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What to do ifI am footing the landlord’s electric bill?

I am renting a home. When I signed the lease, I was aware that the landlord would come down (from where he lives) periodically and do work in an outer portion house, as well as the downstairs of the house that I am renting. It turns out that he sometimes occupies the house and I am paying full rent. In my lease agreement, it is stated that he is to pay the water and the heating bill. It is only my daughter and I so there not much water is being used and the water tank is the only heat. There are no units so of course with the out house and downstairs, my electric bill was almost $500 last month; I am paying my bill and whatever he uses not to mention that we have those portable electric heaters for heating. I’ve noticed when he is working he uses high powered equipment that always trips the electricity upstairs and sometime when he goes back to his other home he leaves the lights on the entire weekend and I cannot get in to turn off. There was an wiring issue that was partially taken care of but when something trips upstairs I have to wait until he comes down to get power back upstairs. Is it lawful for me to live under these terms and conditions?

Asked on November 14, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Georgia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question. If you have a written lease agreement with your landlord, you need to carefully read it 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. Read the provision regarding the use of electricity and water and payments.

If you are paying utilties that the landlord is reponsible for, you need to send him or her a bill and ask that you be repaid. If he fails to do so, then your option is to take him or her to small claims court. Good luck.

 


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