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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 118635
Experience:  Attorney with over 24 years experience.
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My landlord is Waypoint Homes. Before signing the lease last

Customer Question

My landlord is Waypoint Homes. Before signing the lease last April they required that we put all the utilities under our names and show thwm our account numbers, we did that. After a month living in the property they change the Water bill under their name without informing us. The reason they gave when we ask if that it was because some tenants don't pay the bill in time. We asked if we could get a copy of the monthly bill so we can get ready to pay it but they didn't want it and stated that it was always going to be added to our rent bill. We have been paying punctually every month. This December we received a notice of disconnection from the Water Company, we called them on January 2nd but they were closed, on January 3rd we talked to one of their employees to ask for this and also for a late fee they charged us that they said they were going to return to us because we've never been late in our payments, they told us that they returned it to our account on December 7th but it was not so then thy told us that they used it to pay the Water bill but they didn't because the water bill was unpaid and we were going to be disconnected next day (Jan 4) they said that they were going to take care of everything and not to worry.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: It is in California. The Water company employee went to our home next day to disconnect the service and gave us one hour to pay the bill so we paid it. What ca we do? This people don"t care about their tenants, now we don't know if they are going to charge us for the water again because this has happened before? Pleas advise us, Thank you
JA: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?
Customer: We have called them to fix the light fixtures in the kitchen and a closed patio, they went several times but never fixed it so we did it. We also told them that one of the bath tubes is cracked, they sent somebody to check it several times but never fixed nothing. This was about 2 months after we moved in.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I want to know if we can put the Water bill under our name due to their incompetence. Thank you
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If the landlord has agreed to pay the water bill and fails to do so, that makes them in breach of lease and liable to you for all damages. You have a right to move the bill under your name if you are paying it and if the landlord objects, again you need to inform them of their breach of the lease and inform them that you will sue for the water being turned off.
Furthermore, them not fixing anything is also a breach of lease and if they refuse to repair, you have a right to sue them for that as well.
Based on their track record and the complaints, you should consider filing suit against them for breach of lease and seek damages for the water bill not being paid as well as a court order to them to make necessary repairs.
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