Been renting this apartment for 3 years, new management took over in Nov 2014. The property does not have separate meters for water/sanitation and has always provided public trash. The water bill has been 189.05 per month, sanitation 67.00 and the trash runs about 56.00 per month. When I ask for break down of amounts, the rental office said we are on a sliding scale. They told my neighbor that the amounts depend on the size of the apartment and how many people stay in the apartment. These utilities are additional to my 700 rent. I know people who live in this area and don't pay near these amount for these utilities. Rent went up again this year and things has not been right since the take over, we plan on moving but meanwhile what can I do, something don't seem right?
Yes and maybe not.
First, a landlord MAY charge for use of 'common utilities'. Either there has to be submetering, or there has to be a clearly defined 'ratio billing' method set out in the lease. See Virginia Code 55-226.2 at http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+55-226.2 Those clauses are tricky to draft and get right. I don't know normal water/sewer/trash charges in your area, but they sounds a little high to me. For this to be legal it has to be clearly set out in the lease - you should contact an experienced landlord tenant lawyer to review your lease and the billings you get to make sure you're being treated fairly.
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