Landlord-Tenant

Ask a landlord-tenant lawyer and get answers ASAP

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

We discovered that our electricity and gas is paying

Customer Question
for the common area washer...
We discovered that our electricity and gas is paying for the common area washer (water heater for washer), dryer, common lighting, exterior lighting, garage doors and lights for a 3 unit building consisting of two 4 bedroom and one 3 bedroom beach houses. We discussed this with the owner, who admitted that we were correct, but only offered only a $10 monthly credit for the past 8 1/2 months (and he charges $50 per month to use the washer/dryer via coin operated mechanisms). The two other units became vacant in April and our utility bill dropped by $55 a month. Considering that we had definitive proof of our assertions, we withheld $55 per month times 8, but paid the rent on time May 1st. THERE WERE ALSO SEVERAL ITEMS IN DISREPAIR FOR SEVERAL MONTHS. The owner finally repaired the items when we withheld the utility overages. HE CASHED THE RENT CHECK of $3,800 (WITH $450 WITHHELD), but is threatening to evict us if we don't pay the $450 in dispute. The owner says we can terminate the lease if we don't like his decision. And he is demanding late fees because of the withholding. We paid the June rent on time, but deducted $55 and showed the owner the published costs for washers, dryers and water heaters at $81 per month ($40.50 per household). The owner is still refusing to discount the rent for the use of our electricity and gas. Do we have any recourse other than moving out. And do we have to pay the late fees since we paid timely while several items were in disrepair for several months and the utility issue was never addressed to any reasonable satisfaction?
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Landlord-Tenant Question
Answered in 1 hour by:
6/4/2015
Lawyer: CalAttorney2, Attorney replied 2 years ago
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10,244
Experience: I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.
Verified
Unfortunately, you do not have a right to withhold rent over a dispute like this (your landlord could have given you a notice to "pay or quit" and then moved to an eviction instead of working with you to resolve the dispute and given you the option to terminate the lease).The proper mechanism to resolve these disputes for tenants is to file a small claims action for breach of contract against the landlord. I don't know if it is worth it to you to remain in the unit or not, that is a decision you will need to make based on your situation, but I would advise making sure that any resolution you come to is in writing to ensure that there is no dispute over it later.
Ask Your Own Landlord-Tenant Question
Customer reply replied 2 years ago
We also had non-functioning dead bolts on the two front entry doors from March 6, 2015 until we withheld the $450, then they fixed the locks finally on 5/8/15. We couldn't lock our doors for two months. Is there nothing the owner must do to compensate us?
Lawyer: CalAttorney2, Attorney replied 2 years ago
Not retroactively. You have a lot of issues that happened in the past that you could have sued your landlord over, or perhaps even taken "uninhabitability" remedies against - but currently your landlord has remedied these issues and the problem is your failure to pay rent through rent withholding.
Ask Your Own Landlord-Tenant Question
Was this answer helpful?
Ask CalAttorney2 Your Own Question
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10,244
10,244 Satisfied Customers
Experience: I am a civil litigation attorney with experience representing both landlords and tenants in residential and commercial property disputes.

CalAttorney2 is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem.

TonyApopka, FL

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Thomas McJD

Thomas McJD

Lawyer

46 satisfied customers

Landlord-Tenant Law Expert

LegalWiseNC

LegalWiseNC

Attorney

0 satisfied customers

Licensed Attorney in North Carolina.

barristerinky

barristerinky

Attorney

3,949 satisfied customers

Attorney over 17 years, landlord 26 years

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Attorney

2,112 satisfied customers

Experience representing landlords and tenants.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Dimitry K., Esq.

Attorney

1,379 satisfied customers

Licensed in multiple jurisdictions. Experienced Landlord-Tenant attorney.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

1,278 satisfied customers

Attorney

LawTalk

LawTalk

Attorney

1,055 satisfied customers

I have handled Real Estate and Landlord Tenant matters for more than two decades.

< Previous | Next >

Related Landlord-Tenant Questions
Im a subtennant in california apt my master tennant comply
Im a subtennant in california apt my master tennant comply for 3 days notice … read more
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Nisha Jones, Esq.
Juris Doctorate
2,701 satisfied customers
I have a disabled adult son who lives in a apartment complex
Hello, I have a disabled adult son who lives in a apartment complex in Antioch, which is partially paid for by my husband and I. My son has been conserved, but I would like to know if the complex can … read more
lucy7368
lucy7368
Juris Doctor
763 satisfied customers
Have a short term rental in Florida Keys through HomeAway. I
Have a short term rental in Florida Keys through HomeAway. I have been issued a cease and desist order. The penalty for advertising less than 28 days which is permitted is $4700. How can I fight this … read more
Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq.
Attorney
JD
19,552 satisfied customers
Can you sue if an apartment complex is refusing to return
Can you sue if an apartment complex is refusing to return your security deposit after an application denial? … read more
barristerinky
barristerinky
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,949 satisfied customers
I'm writing in regard to: SEC. 93.0117. OUTDOOR LIGHTING
Hello, I'm writing in regard to: ***** ***** OUTDOOR LIGHTING AFFECTING RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY. … read more
PaulmoJD
PaulmoJD
Attorney At Law
Doctoral Degree
106 satisfied customers
If a landlord/owner of a house I'm renting doesn't give me
If a landlord/owner of a house I'm renting doesn't give me notice and comes on the property what can I do about that… read more
Jessica B
Jessica B
Juris Doctor
1,015 satisfied customers
Is there verification more recent than from 2008. I
Is there verification more recent than from 2008. I appreciate you might want to keep your name confidential but it might be helpful to know who you are. I do have another question re a recent questio… read more
socrateaser
socrateaser
1,031 satisfied customers
Beverly Hills Tenant - Subletted to me and we condified this
Beverly Hills Tenant - Subletted to me and we condified this with a contract which he identifies himself as the landlord. It was signed as a 9 month lease for $1400/Month. My wife came to stay with me… read more
Infolawyer
Infolawyer
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
2,112 satisfied customers
I have some questions regarding a landlord/tenant situation.
I have some questions regarding a landlord/tenant situation … read more
Lori
Lori
Juris Doctor
1,315 satisfied customers
I have a question about some specific (may be very common)
Hi, I have a question about some specific (may be very common) issue, I'm renting an apartment in one of complexes and landlord is doing some construction works at the backyard which is next to my win… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
11,915 satisfied customers
Current landlord is selling place before 6/1 due to unpaid
Current landlord is selling place before 6/1 due to unpaid taxes. we were in a yearly contract which ended april. and she does not want to make a new contract. She was ok with us having dogs. And new … read more
barristerinky
barristerinky
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,949 satisfied customers
I have an issue about my housing devl. A little over three
I have an issue about my housing devl. A little over three weeks ago my dish for cable tele was taken out of the ground and hauled away by the maintenance staff. I was given no warning and only found … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
11,915 satisfied customers
My 39 yr old son moved in in feb bcoz of Surgury. He has not
My 39 yr old son moved in in feb bcoz of Surgury . He has not paid rent for feb. mar. Apr. or may . What can I do … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
11,915 satisfied customers
Signed a lease in NY, landlord did not sign. I did not yet
Signed a lease in NY, landlord did not sign. I did not yet pay the deposit. My company all of a sudden wants me in Europe. What are my options please… read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers
I currently have two issues. My ex girl friend and I had
Hi, I currently have two issues. My ex girl friend and I had adopted 2 cats over a year ago, now that she has moved out of the apartment we rented together she has hired an attorney to get the cats ba… read more
LegalKnowledge
LegalKnowledge
Juris Doctor
29,817 satisfied customers
I had tenants on my property with a 6 month lease. They paid
I had tenants on my property with a 6 month lease. They paid late more than twice, so I issued a 72 hour eviction notice. There are details about that notice, and potential mistakes I made that I want… read more
Lori
Lori
Juris Doctor
1,315 satisfied customers
I had tenants on my property with a 6 month lease. They paid
I had tenants on my property with a 6 month lease. They paid late more than twice, so I issued a 72 hour eviction notice. There are details about that notice, and potential mistakes I made that I want… read more
barristerinky
barristerinky
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
3,949 satisfied customers
I have an employee that has been living in a house of a
I have an employee that has been living in a house of a friend for over 5 years. The friend died 2 years ago but my employee has keep up the house. … read more
LawGuy
LawGuy
Juris Doctor
123 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x