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Looking for advice on lease agreement

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posted on Mar, 27 2008 @ 11:14 PM
Hello all, I don't usually post on BTS but I had a problem and hoped I could get some advice from the BTS group.

I rent an apartment in atlanta GA and have lived here for 1yr 3 months. I have never been late on a rent payment ever. I just had my 1 yr lease expire and signed up for another year. I have been paying happily since the first without any issues until now. The property group that owned it sold out to a different one. I never signed a new lease as I signed a 1yr lease right before it changed hands and I assume that is binding for me and the landlord company.

Well long story short the water, trash and sewer were included in what I pay per month and I have been paying it as part of my rent. I pay all my bills online so I don't check the mail very often as I know all the bills I get are paid already and the rest is junk mail or so I thought... I open my mailbox to find a bill I have never seen before. It was from a company called one point technologies and was charging me for water, trash, sewer and pest control. Even worse there were two of them and because I never signed up for this service (I assume that the apartment co. set it up) nor did I ever imagine that I would be getting a bill for this, I got a 25.00 late fee because I did not pay on time.

Right now I am boiling
because I never recieved any notice of this at all other than these two bills. The apartment company told me nothing! I take my bills very seriously and I hate late fees and never put myself in the position to be charged for them.

I have a copy of the lease agreement in my hand and have read it thoroughly.

The only mention of utilities is in section 10 and it states
"Resident is responsible for payment of natural gas, electricity, water and sewer, telephone, cable satelite or other utilities and services to the apartment unlessspecified otherwise in paragraph 34" now this continues on but I will be to the point a give what paragraph 34 says in my lease.

"34. Special Stipulations: The following are additional stipulations which shall control in the event of any conflict with the foregoing:

Market rent $838 minus $179 monthly concession plus 32$ water, sewer and trash fee plus 0$ pet rent. The total amount due on the first of each month will be $691. A one time concession of $75 will be taken off in january 2008." The 75 was for signing my lease renewal early.

So I have been paying them for it but they changed the service and set up an account with out my knowledge or even giving me a notice. I feel that this lease although signed before the change of ownership is still valid. I know georgia is not very good about renters rights so I don't want to get my hopes up. I want to talk with them but am afraid they will make me sign a new lease rather than making an addendum to this one. I just want bach the 32$ a month I have paid them (I thought they were taking care of it until lease expiration which is 12/01/2008 BTW) and have my rent ajusted because I am paying it on my own now.

I feel that I am stuck with this 25.00 late fee because of a breech of contract. And wonder if I should even pay the damn bills until this thing gets straitened out. I have the money and that is not a problem I just feel wronged and really believe it was part of the agreement for them to do as stated in the lease until it expired just like I have to do what is stated until it expires.

Any advice would be welcomed as I am really pissed about the whole ordeal and can't really think strait right now.

Thank you!:w:

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 12:02 AM
I'm so glad I live out in a country area and rent from private owners of a private property, rather than have to deal with some money grubbing arseholes like the ones you described that are only determined to somehow squeeze an ounce of blood out of the turnip.

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 12:36 AM
Does the lease have anything in it about it being binding if the ownership changes? If it does, the new company that owns the property is in breach of the contract. If not, you could argue that the contract is null and void and get out of the lease. You were paying your rent in good faith that the utilities were included and they should at least have been required to inform you that utilities were no longer included. I'm not from Georgia so I'm not familiar with the state laws, but I found this Landlord/Tenant Handbook and this page has a phone number you can call to get better legal advice than I could give you.

Hopefully you can get this mess sorted out quickly and I hope those links help you!

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 10:25 AM
reply to post by Jenna

Thanks for the input and the links Jenna!
I will see what I can get done a post an update just in case anyone else finds themselves in this position. I just feel that crap like this should be illegal. These people burned a bridge with me and I think I will be looking for a new place when my lease ends. After all if they did something like this, they shurely won't mind putting the screws to me again.

posted on Mar, 28 2008 @ 11:56 PM
You're welcome! I'd call that phone number from the link and ask them if your contract could be considered void if there is nothing in it about it being binding on new owners. You might be able to get out of it now instead of waiting till the end of the lease. It's worth a shot!

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