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In CA, if I pay rent+utilities to my landlord, and they increase the utility charges, do they need to give 30 days notice?

Daly City, CA |

I have a lease that actually states: for the purpose of defaults, utilities shall be deemed "rent". Does that mean they don't need to give 30 days notice, or can the ammended charges be due immediately with threat of eviction?


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Attorney answers 2


If the rental agreement states that utility payments are part of "rent" then the 30-day notice is required because it is an increase in "rent."

Another parallel argument is whether or not there is a stated amount for utilities in the lease agreement itself. If so, then a 30-day notice would be necessary to increase that amount.


Because the lease states that it is "rent", I agree that you should get a 30 day notice.

But if the agreement has other parts that state that you will pay the utilities as billed to you, you may have conflicting paragraphs and the landlord wouldn't have to give you notice.

How much are we talking about? If it is a small amount, and you have a good relationship with the landlord, I would call and see if you can negotiate it for the first month and stipulate that you will pay it from then on. Try not to make this a "federal case". You are using the utilities, you should pay for them.

This is general legal advice intended for informational purposes only and does not create and attorney/client relationship. If you wish further advice, please contact an attorney of your own choosing or you may contact me for further advice and make other arrangements including retaining my services.

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