Dear Consumer Ed:

When I moved into my apartment, I signed a lease that stated that the landlord would be responsible for the water and garbage pick-up.  Now the landlord is demanding that I pay for the water and garbage pick- up.  What options do I have?

Consumer Ed says:

If your lease states that the landlord is responsible for paying for the water and garbage pick-up, and assuming that the lease has not expired, the landlord should pay for those services throughout the duration of the lease term. If he refuses to do so, you can remind him of what the lease says and show him a copy of the lease with that section highlighted.  If he still refuses to pay for those utilities, you can hire an attorney or try to resolve the matter in magistrate court.
Once your lease has expired, the landlord has the right to require that you sign a new lease containing new terms, such as an increase in rent or making certain utilities and services the responsibility of the tenant.

If you are living in the apartment without a valid, current lease, the landlord must give sixty (60) days notice of any rent increase. (Making additional utilities the responsibility of the tenant would be equivalent to a rent increase.)

For additional information, you can view the Georgia Landlord-Tenant Handbook online at the Department of Community Affairs' website.


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