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barristerinky
barristerinky, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 34855
Experience:  Attorney over 16 years, landlord 26 years
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I am given a mere 5 days to pay my water bill everymonth.

Customer Question

hi. i am given a mere 5 days to pay my water bill everymonth. Often I am out of state, and my check would not get there on time even if i wrote it out and mailed it the second i received it. is this legal?
JA: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: florida
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no other than i have complained endlessly to both my landlord and water company. they say nothing can be done
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 month ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.

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Who do you actually pay your water bill to? the landlord or the water company?

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Is this part of your lease that you have to pay the bill within 5 days?

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Do you have any friends or family close by where you live?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hello,
Who do you actually pay your water bill to? the landlord or the water company?
- Hudson Waterworks, the water utility company.
Is this part of your lease that you have to pay the bill within 5 days?
- It is part of my lease that I must pay the water utility bills, yes. There is no mention of timeframes in the lease.
Do you have any friends or family close by where you live?
- Yes, I have friends nearby... ?I am renting, so the water bill gets sent to the homeowner or (more likely, since I believe the home owner lives in Israel) the Century21 real-estate manager. I am told by the Hudson Waterworks that the rent bills are mailed out on the first, and are due on the 15th. However, since the bill gets sent to Century21 or the home owner, I do not get the bill. I get an email from Century21 on or around the 10th (such as today) that my bill is $XX.xx and is due on the 15th (typically like 5 days from date of the email I receive each month). Because I am a renter, I am not able to put the water bill in my name or have it deducted via ACH from my account, so (i am told) this cannot change.-Mark
Expert:  barristerinky replied 1 month ago.

Ok, the reason I ask about family or friends is that the simplest way I see to resolve this is for you to leave checks with someone locally who can drop a check in the mail the day you are notified about the bill or even go pay it personally on your behalf.

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The other option I see is for you to keep a credit balance on the account.. If your bill is fairly regular, you could pay a month in advance and then your account would just show a credit balance each month.. So if your water bill is $40 a month, you pay $80 one month and you run a $40 credit that gets applied to the next month's bill and you just then continue to stay ahead by making normal payments of $40 a month each month to keep that credit balance going...

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However, under a legal doctrine called the "mailbox rule" as long as you get your payment in the mail postmarked prior to the due date, it is considered timely paid regardless of when it is actually received. So you could dispute any late fees if they are being charged as long as you have proof of mailing on or before the 15th.

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thanks

Barrister

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