Q: Suspect gas lines aren't setup properly. Overcharged on gas bills.
My gas Bill's tripled dec and Jan. $140 in dec and $193 jan. I live in an efficiency smaller than most hotel rooms. I paid less in 3 bedroom houses monthly in past even in winter. I keep bugging and disputing and landlords avoiding. Bill is due Friday. Can I call gas company out without his consent? Can I hold out sum of bill on next months rent to fight wanting answers?
I assume that you live in a building which houses more than one tenant; that neither you nor any other tenant has its own gas meter; that you have lived at the building for a long time and that you have a written lease with a term longer than month-to-month; that you have read the lease carefully to see if there are any provisions about paying the gas bill; that the bill for gas is separate and not included as part of the monthly rental; and that you have compared last winter's gas bills to this winter's gas bills and that this year's are substantially higher.
While there are laws in Philadelphia which govern separate metering for WATER bills, I have not been able to find any definitive law requiring a landlord to provide separate gas meters for each apartment. I do not regularly practice in Philadelphia and you may be able to get a better answer from a Philadelphia landlord/tenant attorney.
You should contact the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections by dialing 311 and explain your problem and ask for an explanation. Their website is:
There are several organizations (none of which I am familiar with and so cannot recommend) which appear to be free which help tenants with problems, one of which is:
In the mean time, you should: (1) Write a letter to your landlord in the manner and at the address contained in the lease -- tell him you are concerned about the large increase in your gas bill and ask him: why the invoices have increased so much in the last 4 months, ask him for a full copy of four of his most recent gas invoices (from PG&E I assume), whether each other tenant 's share has been increased similarly to yours and been billed a similar increase, and ask him to provide you with written answers before the end of the week when the bill is due so you can avoid having to bring the situation to the attention of Licenses and Inspections; (2) Do not withhold rent, or your landlord will start eviction proceedings; (3) Call the gas company yourself and find out about the substantial increase in the cost of gas.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.