Port Chester, NY asked in Energy, Oil and Gas and Landlord - Tenant for New York

Q: Can my Landlord charge me $1,080 for the gas heating each month? I rent a 2- bedroom apartment in westchester county NY

We didn’t have to pay for gas/heating the first year we lived here, however last year apparantly prices went up and he started charging each apartment (4 total) about $200-$300 additionally each month during the winter only for this reason. This past week, they came to refill the houses gas tanks and he is telling us we will have to pay him $1,080 each apartment this time around.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Your landlord can charge for gas heating if it's stipulated in your lease agreement. If your lease specifies that heating costs are included in the rent, then your landlord generally cannot add additional charges without your consent or without renegotiating the lease. Increases in utility costs can only be passed on to tenants legally if the lease allows for it or if there is a separate utility payment agreement in place.

For a $1,080 charge to be valid, it must be justified by the actual heating costs and appropriately allocated among the tenants, which seems unusually high for a single month's heating bill for a two-bedroom apartment. You have the right to request a detailed breakdown of these charges and compare them with the rates and usage. If this charge seems unwarranted or if the lease does not allow for such charges, you may want to seek legal advice or contact local tenant advocacy groups for assistance. It's also prudent to review local laws, as Westchester County may have specific regulations regarding utility charges by landlords.

Steven Warren Smollens agrees with this answer

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