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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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New management of Timberlake Apartments in is issuing a

Customer Question

New management of Timberlake Apartments in Henderson is issuing a monthly CAM charge to all tenants in this apartment community. What I have researched thus far is that it is illegal to charge residents this charge, but that CAM charge is commercial only. We need a lawyer to help us recuperate monies already paid.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hello and thank you for the opportunity to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to help if I can. To clarify your question, are you asking how to go about finding an attorney? I just want to make sure that I understand what legal information you are seeking. Thank you.

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

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

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I want to ensure that management of an apartment complex, which is residential only, cannot charge a CAM charge, which is for commercial properties only. And if I am correct, I would like a name of an attorney or government agency that protects residents from this type of issue.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hello again.

Q: I want to ensure that management of an apartment complex, which is residential only, cannot charge a CAM charge, which is for commercial properties only.

A: No, I'm sorry to say that is not correct. While CAM fees are usually only included as separately itemized fees in commercial leases, that does not mean it is illegal to include in a residential lease. It's simply a term of the lease and should be construed as part of the total rent. Moreover, realistically, CAM fees are always built into residential leases ... it's just that they aren't usually listed separately. For example, if the landlord builds a new pool for tenants to use, then the landlord may increase rent to all tenants as their leases expire. The landlord may not call it a CAM fee, but that's what the increase represents. In any event, I'll refer you to the following Nevada law:

NRS 118A.200  Rental agreements: Signing; copies; required provisions;disputable presumptions; use of nonconforming agreement unlawful.

1. Any written agreement for the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit or premises must be signed by the landlord or his or her agent and the tenant or his or her agent.

4.  The absence of a written agreement raises a disputable presumption that:

(b) Maintenance and waste removal services are provided without charge to the tenant.

Clearly, if maintenance fees were not allowed in residential leases, then the law wouldn't state that maintenance fees are without charge if they are not written in the lease. Instead, the law would state that maintenance fees are never allowed.

I am truly sorry that my answer may be bad news for you, but please understand that it would be unfair to you (and unprofessional of me) to provide you with anything less than an honest response. However, if your concerns were not satisfactorily addressed, then please let me know, and I will be happy to clarify my answer.

Also, despite the bad news, I would certainly appreciate it if you remember to provide a positive rating via the stars, as it is the only way that I'll get credit for answering your question(s). Thank you. :)

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I don't think they are doing it the way you say, as included in the rent. They are charging a separate fee and they call it a CAM fee. Also they are reserving the right to raise rent mid-lease if their taxes go up. The CAM charge is not included in the rent nor is it the same each month.
Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Hello again.

I apologize that my answer may not have been clear. I did not intend to imply that the CAM fee in your case is included in the rent. Rather, I was pointing out that even if a landlord does not claim to charge a CAM fee, the tenant is still paying a CAM fee because landlords build maintenance costs into the rent that they charge. In your case, the landlord opted not to disguise the CAM fee in that way, that's all. I hope that is more clear.

In any event, you can ignore that, as it was just commentary. The answer to your question is that it is not illegal to charge residential tenants a CAM fee, and the law that I cited clearly supports that answer. I'll paste it again for quick reference:

NRS 118A.200  Rental agreements: Signing; copies; required provisions;disputable presumptions; use of nonconforming agreement unlawful.

1. Any written agreement for the use and occupancy of a dwelling unit or premises must be signed by the landlord or his or her agent and the tenant or his or her agent.

4.  The absence of a written agreement raises a disputable presumption that:

(b) Maintenance and waste removal services are provided without charge to the tenant.

The above law allows a landlord to charge a tenant separately for maintenance fees so long as the fees are agreed upon via a written agreement (i.e., a lease).

I hope that helps to clarify my prior answer. Please let me know if you need further clarification, andplease 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. :)

Expert:  TJ, Esq. replied 10 months ago.

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

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