How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Christopher B, Esq Your Own Question
Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 2677
Experience:  Litigation Attorney
84496330
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
Christopher B, Esq is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I was late on my water/trash bill that I am billed seperately

Customer Question

I was late on my water/trash bill that I am billed seperately from rent and they deducted it from my rent payment, making me late on rent and incurring late rent fees..is this legal and if not in my lease because new management added it later in a letter they say they sent out?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This answer is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.
One of the basic purposes of a lease is to give the parties the assurance that during the primary term of the lease they can plan on the conditions of the lease remaining the same.
Usually, a lease cannot be changed during its term unless both parties agree to the change. However, during the secondary term of the lease or during a periodic tenancy (e.g., a month to month lease) any lease provision can be changed by one party as long as the other party receives at least advance notice of at least one full period (e.g., one month) of the change.
If the lease continues to the following period, after giving such a notice, the parties are presumed to have accepted the modified terms. See Tex. Prop. Code SS 91.001.
Modification of a lease can be either oral or written. A written lease can be modified by a subsequent oral agreement even if the lease contains language such as "no subsequent modifications will be recognized as valid" or "all modifications to this lease must be in writing and signed by both parties in order to be valid". Apperson v. Shofner, 3 51 S. W. 2d 367, 369 (Tex. Civ. App. --Waco 196 1, no writ). Certainly, the Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act would penalize a landlord who makes promises he does not keep, regardless of what the lease says.
An implied agreement to change a lease can arise from the actions of the parties (course of dealing) without any oral or written words passing between the parties. For example, suppose a written lease calls for rent to be paid monthly on the first of the month. If the tenant begins to pay his rent in two equal amounts on the 1St and 15th of the month and this payment is accepted by the landlord, then the original lease is modified, and the landlord is bound to continue accepting rent on the lst and 15th.
The landlord can initially refuse to allow such an arrangement, but once he does allow it, he is bound by it. Wendlandt v. Sommers Drug Store, 551 S.W.2d 488, 490 (Tex. Civ. App.--Austin 1977, no writ). The landlord may be able to modify the agreement, back to its original terms, if he gives 30 days notice.
Basically unless the original lease allowed for supplements to the lease by a certain process(you will need to read any of this language)
then this is not legal. In order for a supplement to take legal force, both parties have to sign off on the supplement unless (as I previously stated) you are on a month to month tenancy.
See link for guide to tenant landlord:
http://recenter.tamu.edu/pdf/866.pdf
Please let me know if you have any further questions or require any additional guidance. Please do not forget to positively rate my answer as this is the only way that I am compensated for my work.
Expert:  Christopher B, Esq replied 1 year ago.
I see you have reviewed my answer, please let me know if I can do anything further. Please positively rate my answer as it is the only way I will be compensated.