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
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.