I have been residing in the same apartment complex for several years now. Each month we received a water bill based on square footage and number of occupants per unit. Last month the complex was sold and the new owners have decided to bill at a flat rate by unit size and a notice was issued that all units are in arrears for water for the past two months. We have been informed that we are to pay the flat rate for water usage on the first and fifteenth of the month for the next two months to catch up. My unit is charged at a rate of $60.00. This will amount to an additional $120.00 over the next two months. The old billing was on the 15th of the month following usage and payment due on the first of the month following. Now we are expected to pay in advance. Is this legal?
Landlord / Tenant Lawyer
I think the new owners will have to follow the same billing practices as the former owner.
They will have to give proper notice that the billing procedure will be changing when each unit renews their lease.
You should take this to a local landlord tenant lawyer for a consultation.
If you are month to month the landlord can raise the rent for change fees WITH REASONABLE NOTICE. If you have a written lease still in effect, I would argue that those provisions control and cannot be changed until the lease expires. The reasonable notice if you are month to month? Usually that would be at least 15 days before the end of any monthly period. They cannot raise rents or fees RETROACTIVELY, but only for FUTURE periods of time.
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