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Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10603
Experience:  Commercial and residential leases in NY & NJ & US
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I rented a garage 6/01/14 it was a 1 year lease then it went

Customer Question

I rented a garage 6/01/14 it was a 1 year lease then it went month to month. I moved out 5/31/16. I payed for first, last month,and $500 security deposit prior to moving in to the garage. My lease states lessee will pay electric, water, sewage, and garbage as they become due. They sent me the water bill in October to pay and put in my name I assumed the sewage was part of the water bill and I never had garbage pickup. After I ended my lease and moved out. They held my security deposit. They told me to get the security deposit back I need prof that their was zero balance due on my utilities. So I sent them my water and electric final bill of o due. They called me and said that I owed sewage and garbage. I replied you never told me that they were separate and never give me the bill until now. They sent me a copy of the bill that's not even in my name and no break down of the charges except for late charges and finance charges for the past to years. Then I received a check return for security deposit for 19 dollars. My question, is Can they do that?
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  philip.simmons replied 12 months ago.

Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help

Also, if you would like to chat on the phone, let me know and I can make that happen.

I am sorry for this dilemma. But not sure I understand your specific question. You had a lease that required you to pay sewer and garbage and you never paid either? Is that correct?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Electric, water and sewage, garbage
Expert:  philip.simmons replied 12 months ago. what is the question? Are you asking if they can force you to comply with the terms of the lease you signed?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
No not exactly, My lease stats lessee is to pay electric, water and sewage, garbage as they become due. Which they sent me the water bill to pay and put in my name after I moved into the garage. I put the electric in my name to have it turned on and payed it. They never sent me any other bills.
Expert:  philip.simmons replied 12 months ago.

So you believe they "held" these bills, waiting to be able to recover the money from your deposit?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I don't why they held them. What know is they never gave me a bill for them for 2 years. And the bill is not even in my name.
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 11 months ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I will try to help you. Please remember I just report or interpret the law, so the outcome may not be what you hoped for.

I suggest you take them to court to challenge the withholding from the security deposit. The fact that there were services listed in the lease that you never used such as the garbage, and therefor were not billed would mean that under the circumstances you reasonably believed you had paid all the bills for services that you received. Although they would have a claim for amounts you owed, even though they mistakenly failed to bill you. However, they would have the obligation to demonstrate that your unit was the only unit on the sewage bill, which I suspect may not be the case. If there sewage bill covers more than your unit, you would only be responsible for your fair share of the bill. You can go to the landlord tenant court without an attorney to challenge the amount they charged you and I recommend that you do so.

If I have answered all your questions, please positively rate my answer as that is how I receive credit. If you have more questions, please let me know. If the answer was especially helpful you can provide a bonus.

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