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I moved into a property (townhouse) in Atlanta at the end of…

Customer Question
I moved into a...

I moved into a property (townhouse) in Atlanta at the end of March 2017. Although my lease stated I was responsible for water, I only received one water bill at the beginning that was metered before my move occurred and was told by the property managers to disregard it. In February of this year, I received a message stating I hadn't been paying the water bill since I moved in and there was a balance of $232. I paid that balance along with last month of rent on March 1st. As of Friday, I received an email saying we now owed $710 in water because there was an adjustment in the water meter and HOA only gave the notice of it in February. I asked for a copy of all the water bills from my time there, which they sent, the bills range from $9-$11 a month up until the $710. They are threatening to take it from

Lawyer's Assistant: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?

My security deposit Atlanta, GA

Lawyer's Assistant: What are the terms of the lease? Any issues related to maintenance or upkeep?

The property manger is responsible for maintenance. The grounds are kept up by the HOA

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

HOA gave us a notice in December stating the water meters would be changed out, but never said anything about having to back pay water bills because the meters weren't reading properly

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Landlord-Tenant
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3/12/2018
Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 4 months ago
TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 12,760
Experience: JD, MBA
Verified

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do my very best to answer your legal questions.

If the $710 is correct, then unfortunately, you'll have to pay because your lease states that you must pay for water. Unfortunately, it is no defense to the landlord or HOA that the meters were not working correctly, just as it is no defense for them to say that to the water company. On the other hand, if the $710 does not make sense mathematically, then you may certainly dispute it. If they take the money from your security deposit, then you can sue them for doing so, and the burden will be on them to prove that the $710 is correct. So, the bot***** *****ne is that the answer here depends on whether the $710 is correct or not.

Does that answer your question(s)? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, please remember to provide a positive rating via the stars (and note that your positive rating is the only way that I'll get credit for helping you, so it is much appreciated!). Thank you. :)

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
I've asked them to show me where the meter reads say that in their bills and they sent me the document attached. They wrote in handwriting the $710. But based on the document, all the bills and their delinquent fees are only adding up to the $232.64 balance I paid. There aren't showing me actual proof of the bill.
Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 4 months ago
Hi again.If you disagree with the amount, then you can refuse to pay. If the amount is deducted from your security deposit, then you can sue for the return of your security deposit. At that time the landlord will have to prove to the judge that you owe the amount that they deducted
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Lawyer: TJ, Esq., Attorney replied 4 months ago

Hello again. I didn't hear back from you, and you haven't yet rated me, so I'm just checking in to make sure that you don't need more help on this issue.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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