splitting utilities
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splitting utilities (by Lanita Williams [CO]) Dec 29, 2008 1:45 PM
       splitting utilities (by Anon [CO]) Dec 29, 2008 2:02 PM
       splitting utilities (by Mike in San Diego [CA]) Dec 29, 2008 2:07 PM
       splitting utilities (by NotNice [MA]) Dec 29, 2008 3:14 PM
       splitting utilities (by Robert,Ontario,Canada [ON]) Dec 29, 2008 4:20 PM
       splitting utilities (by AllyM [NJ]) Dec 29, 2008 7:02 PM
       splitting utilities (by SAM [OR]) Dec 29, 2008 11:31 PM
       splitting utilities (by sam [OR]) Dec 29, 2008 11:33 PM

splitting utilities (by Lanita Williams [CO]) Posted on: Dec 29, 2008 1:45 PM

State Specific Question About: COLORADO (CO)

I have been a tenant in my current apartment for 4+ years now. The house I live in was sold to a new owner 2 years ago, and I got a 5-star rating from my previous landlord, so the new owners offered me a 2-year lease with a $50 increase from $850 to $900/mo. That lease expires on 31 Jan and my landlord now wants me to pay 1/2 the utilities for the whole property "based on my square footage and the fact that I have the washer & dryer."

The house consists of 3 units: I occupy the whole first floor (and I am already paying more for the sq footage + washer/dryer). Below me are a 2-bdr apartment and a 1-bdr apartment. The rental of those apartments over the last 2 years has been like a revolving door. Either there is no one in them or there are up to 6 people in them.

The entire house is on single metering for utilities, which is why utilities have always been included in my rent.

My questions are these: can my landlord charge me for half the utilities when I am not on a separate meter? Is it fair to ask me to pay half the utilities for up to 6 other people when I have no control over their usage? I am told by friends who are landlords that they rarely increase the rent of their renters who pay on time and who take care of their property, so lastly, how should I address this with my landlord? Thanks, L --75.70.xx.xx

splitting utilities (by Anon [CO]) Posted on: Dec 29, 2008 2:02 PM

First off this is a landlord site.

But to answer your questions.

1. Yes.

2. Fair is subjective. You don't think it is so from your perspective then No. From a LL perspective it might be. More area to heat and light and more hot water to use. You have half the squarefootage so why not half the utilities? Do you have guests from time to time? Do they use utilities? The number of people are hard to monitor. Square footage is often used to break down utilities.

3. Landlords that do not keep rents at or near market are giving away money. Some do this for a number of reasons. Most work to keep the rent near market.

Finally by all means discuss it with your landlord. You would be better off by finding a couple of places like the one you are renting that are less expensive than yours to use as bargaining chips. If you don't want to move be prepared to pay the increase. Perhaps you will find that you are still getting a good deal and will want to stay without discuss it.


splitting utilities (by Mike in San Diego [CA]) Posted on: Dec 29, 2008 2:07 PM

Unless CO state law prohibits it (and I don't believe that it does), it can be written into a contract.

Any contract terms are negotiable.

I would appeal to the landlords in person. State your case, bring your payment record, be polite. You might remind them that you were a model tenant for the previous owners, and you've never been late on rent. You might offer to pay another $50/mo in rent instead of paying for a variable cost that is in part controlled by other tenants.

Your trump card is that you are a model tenant and always pay on time, and if you don't like the terms of the new lease, you'll move, and they'll get someone who may not be a model tenant and may not pay on time. The upswing is they'll get somebody who's (a) paying more and (b) paying utilities / costing them less.

Best of luck.


splitting utilities (by NotNice [MA]) Posted on: Dec 29, 2008 3:14 PM

You need to research your state and local laws. If there is no law addressing splitting the cost of utilities, then he can do it.

FYI, when I lived in Calif., the water bill was split by square footage which is the legally required way in Calif. I didn't think it was fair either (there was a couple with a baby with a same size unit. They had to have been using much more water than me.) To this day, I haven't heard of any other way to do it (if it was based on number of people, then tenants would lie about the number of occupants).

Research costs in your area and then negotiate. Read your current lease. You have to respond to his new lease offer in the next day or two. --66.19.xxx.xxx

splitting utilities (by Robert,Ontario,Canada [ON]) Posted on: Dec 29, 2008 4:20 PM

Like most places the cost of natural gas, electricity, oil and water has gone up. In two of the apartment buildings the heat and the electricity is separate from the rent. When tenants have to pay directly for a utility then the consumption is reduced. One can avoid this by looking for a another rental unit somewhere else. Often receive phone calls from people looking for a two bedroom apartment all inclusive for a $600.00 per month which is not possible in todays economy. In the other apartment building the heat is included but the not the electricity which is often called hydro here. In the apartment buildings do not use the energy consuming top load washing machines which use a considerable amount of water and considerable amount of hot water. --216.209.xxx.xx

splitting utilities (by AllyM [NJ]) Posted on: Dec 29, 2008 7:02 PM

It's not appropriate and should not be done.

You might ask what the utility bills are over the year and ask to see the bills. It might be much more than you can afford. --76.99.xxx.xx

splitting utilities (by SAM [OR]) Posted on: Dec 29, 2008 11:31 PM

Move to a house with just your unit on the meter, if you are unsatisfied with your current arrangments.

Your Lanlord probably can


splitting utilities (by sam [OR]) Posted on: Dec 29, 2008 11:33 PM

Sorry. hit the button too soon

Your Landlord probably cannot absorb the higher costs


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