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Richard - Bizlaw
Richard - Bizlaw, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 10630
Experience:  Commercial and residential leases in NY & NJ & US
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I have been in my apartment for the past 18 months. I signed

Customer Question

I have been in my apartment for the past 18 months. I signed my first lease in May of 2015 and a signed a new lease in May of 2016. Recently, i received a notice from management that I owe management for the 18 months of charges of an electric bill because an account with Georgia Power (our electricity provider here) was never established in my own name. I owe arrears, in addition to a $50 fee for each month. I was under the impression that electricity was included in rent, but i acknowledge that i should have read my lease and understand the responsibility that I have in this. My question is, can management add the arrears from my initial lease (may of 2015 through April 2016) to this next month's bill even though I signed a new lease?
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 10 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.

Were you supposed to pay the electric company directly or did the management provide you with a bill that you paid to them?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I was supposed to pay the electric company directly.
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 10 months ago.

What I suggest is that you contact the electric company directly. Explain what happened and tell them you cannot pay it in one lump sum and can you work out a payment plan. I would expect that the company will work out a payment plan. Once you have done that you can notify the management company that the issue has been addressed with the electric company and you will be paying the electric company directly in the future to cover the arrears and the current bill.

I doubt very much that you would have to resort to something as drastic as bankruptcy.

If I have answered all your questions, please highly 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.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The electric company has been paid already. They charged the costs to the management company directly. Does your response still apply?
Expert:  Richard - Bizlaw replied 10 months ago.

In that case, you have to work out the arrangement with the management company. Check your lease to see if there is a provision that covers this circumstance that treats the amount the management company paid as additional rent. If there is no such provision, you may be able to challenge an eviction if they refuse to accept a payment plan. In most circumstances, if you have otherwise been a good tenant, they would rather work out the arrangement and not have to go through the eviction process.

If I have answered all your questions, please highly rate my answer as that is how I get credit for working on your question.

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