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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.
Is my understanding correct that the lease says the tenant pays he utilities including the sewer fees? Does the lease also have a provision that the lease is the entire agreement between the parties? Does the lease also provide that you can recover your attorneys fees if you prevail in a dispute with the tenant? What state are you in?
Yes we can.
You can deduct the unpaid sewer fees from the security deposit because the tenant's failure to pay them is a breach of the agreement. You are not required to verbally tell him what is in the written lease so his defense of not being told will be thrown aside by a court.
I suggest you tell the attorney that the sewer fee requirement is in the written lease. You are not required to verbally tell him what is in the written lease. The law presumes you have read and understood any contract a person signs. You should also tell the attorney that if you are taken to court and you win which you will, in addition to recovering the sewer fees you will also collect your attorneys fees and any other costs you incur in enforcing the lease.
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Every state has different laws and it is always helpful to know which state's law apply. I would add the provision that this is the entire agreement between the parties as that provision prevents someone from saying we made a different agreement verbally.
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