Without meters to see how much water or gas you've used, how can this be legal? 6 units in each building. Some with single occupants, some with 4 or 5. This is in Grand Rapids MI.I found out that they are taking gas bill for whole complex and deviding it among residents based on number of occupants per apartment. What if an occupant goes in hospital for a month? Still liable for bill if no water, gas used during this time? Would think they'd have to show complex bill to residents as they say they're going to pay 50%. Remember, no meter for water, gas. Thanks.
This depends on how the lease is written. Owners can certainly 'include' the utilities in the rent and the is essentially what is being done here, but without seeing the lease to determine how the calculations are done and whether or not there was full disclosure, it is impossible to say if this was done correctly. Many attorneys will offer free or reduced cost consultations. I would suggest you consult with a local attorney to review the lease and see if there are adjustments that can be made.
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As addressed it would require a review of the lease. I'm aware the about 10 years ago many apartment communities began placing in their leases the option to do billing such as this, even if they hadn't begun yet. What it is commonly know as is "Ratio Utility Billing System". Such is often calculated in a manner of different ways including calculating a individual unit/resident's utility bill based on occupancy, apartment square footage, number of beds, or some combination of factors. Ask your apartment community how they are calculating and taking into account the differences between units.
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It will depend on the terms of your lease/rental agreement. It is not illegal, per se, for a landlord to allocate utility costs as additional rent, even without meters.
It might determined as illegal, however, if the landlord is billing tenant collectively for more than the actual utility expense, since that could be theft. Or if the landlord is arbitrarily allocating costs without some underlying and consistent allocation formula.
You should consult with an attorney familiar with real estate and landlord/tenant law to determine your particular situation.
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