I have a client that I am trying to help find a rental. Her issue is that she is fighting with an old landlord. She says she gave notice before breaking her lease. That's not for me to decide. I told her that she needs to clear this up in order for her to be able to rent again.
One thing she told me, which I have never heard of, is that her landlord charged her several astronomical water and sewer fees each moth after she moved out of the rental.
Is this customary? What can a landlord charge besides court fees and rent if a tenant breaks their lease or are evicted for non payment.
You will have to look at lease to determine.
Did she break her lease and move before a fix-term end date, or did she move out with proper notice on a month-to-month lease? If she was on a month-to-month lease, a standard 30 day notice to vacate should have been sufficient and her landlord should not be charging her anything. (http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/georgia-not...)
However, if she was on a fix-term lease and tried to move out early, she could still be on the hook for rent payments and utility fees, per her lease agreement. She needs to come to mutual agreement with her landlord about terminating a lease agreement early.
i know what she says she did. she says that her lease allowed her to move out early with notice provided she paid a certain amount and she says she did that. im not a lawyer. i have told her that she needs to get a lawyer but i thought that was just odd. she told me that for one of the months the landlord charged $1200 for water. im from philadelphia and the landlord tenant issues are normally tenant friendly. i just can't see how charging someone $1200 for something they aren't using is feasible especially water which is normally the lowest costing utility.
There are two sides to every story
I would tend to believe that your client is not telling you the whole story.
Tell her to resolve the problem with her old landlord and then have her get back to you.
The suggestion that your client needs to resolve her own problem is correct. You are hearing only one side of the story. Yes; water/sewer usage is certainly not $1200 a month in Georgia. However, you have no knowledge if (for example), this amount involves the water/sewer bill for the entire time your client resided in this rental or your client left a little present for her previous landlord at move out (i.e., the faucets running; not unusual at times).
At any rate, it is up to her to deal with this issue.
I'm with Gail on this, it's very likely that the water company came after the landlord (which the can't legally, but many owners don't know the legal codes to fight them about it) for her outstanding water bill and he's now coming after her.
They do that here as well, but legally they aren't allowed to, but most people don't know that, so they pay