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I know this question may sound little bit out of league but any advice appreciated. After gaining great education I moved to Jersey City and I rented a decent apartment in a house on top floor in affluent heights area of JC.
My landlord told me and is part of lease agreement that heat and hotwater included, now after staying here for 4 months we had heating started in the month of October and my utility bill jumped from average 40 dollars to 250 dollars a month. I checked the bill and there is a gas delivery charge of 160 dollars. Subsequently I checked further by asking other tenants (basement and groundfloor tenants) and they told me that for them they don't even have to pay electricity (everything included in rent).
Suddenly I realized that I am actually paying for gas and electricity for entire house including all other tenants for last 4 months and it became apparent only this month when I thoroughly checked everything and inquired other tenants. The heat system is powered through gas and that is connected to my gas meter. Other electricity and gas meter are not working and only one electricity and gas meter is working which is mine.
My lease agreement clearly states that heat and hot water included and electricity I have to pay myself. Now what are my options? Should I just talk to landlord or directly take matter with corporations ? Landlord is littlebit crazy kind (On one occasion when I complained about some minor issues he started shouting and screaming over the phone with lots of F*** words since then I actually stopped communicating to him) and I think I may have to involve authorities, if that stage is reached where should I complain or should I just get the help of attorney.
In any case I would appreciate your response and help in my problem.
thanks in advance,
I'm not sure, but I think you might have a legal problem on your hands. I'm not saying you should retain a lawyer, just some legal advice. Google tenants rights in your area. He won't get away with it if do your homework now.
I would call the utility company in question and find out if your paying the entire bill for the complex. And if your lease agreement says heat etc. is included in the rent than that means you don't pay for heat whether it's source is gas or electric. You should only pay electric for things like your lights and appliances.
Also I would send the landlord next time a "certified letter" stating you don't appreciate being shouted profanities and that if it happens again he may very well be breaking his landlord agreement due to the fact you are living under stressful conditions. Nobody should have to put up with that kind of hostile environment.
Like the earlier post said do a google search "landlord breach"