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LandlordTenantAnswer, Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 28364
Experience:  Landlord-Tenant Disputes, Leases, Evictions, Foreclosures.
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I am a first time renter. I was recently emailed by my

Customer Question

Hello, I am a first time renter. I was recently emailed by my landlord. In the email she stated that myself and my housemates owe her a security deposit and 100 dollars on top of our most recent rent payment. The extra money is being claimed for utilities, but we were under the impression that the payment we were making for rent included utilities. When we originally met to see the house the landlord told us that there would not be a security deposit and that the house was partly furnished. The lease does not mention a security deposit or utilities and says that the house is not furnished.
JA: What are the provisions of the lease regarding payment of utility bills?
Customer: No where in the lease are the words utility or utilities mentioned. The only monetary value mentioned is "$2000 for 'rent' due on or before the first of each month".
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I am not sure what you mean.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not that I can think of.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Expert:  LandlordTenantAnswer replied 2 months ago.

Hi! I will be the professional that will be helping you today. I look forward to providing you with information to help with your question and concern

Expert:  LandlordTenantAnswer replied 2 months ago.

Good evening. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. The lease which you and the landlord signed, is going to control. By that, I mean whatever is in writing is what would govern the parties and require from them. In this case, if the lease agreement states that utilities is NOT included or does not mention it, it is something you would be responsible for, as the tenant. The landlord could not just demand $100 for utilities and you would need to set them up and place them in your name and/or see the bill and what for your use of them.

Expert:  LandlordTenantAnswer replied 2 months ago.

If the landlord told you that the home would be partially furnished and the lease said it would not be, you needed to question the landlord before signing.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Okay. What about the issue of the security deposit. It was not collected before move in and was not mentioned in the lease. Can our landlord suddenly ask us for it 3 months into a year long rental agreement?
Expert:  LandlordTenantAnswer replied 2 months ago.

No, she can not. It would have needed to be asked for as a condition to the lease and collected when the first months rent was paid OR require it in the lease. If nothing was stated in the lease about it, you would not have to provide it now. Just like she is going to rely on the lease, you can also and say it is not stated there and she never asked for it or said it was needed.

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Okay. Thank you for your help.
Expert:  LandlordTenantAnswer replied 2 months ago.

You are welcome. Please let me know if there is anything else, as I would be happy to respond. If not, please remember to rate my help at this time at the top of this page, prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit, for our time together. A 5 STAR rating is greatly appreciated. Thank you.