Virginia Beach, VA asked in Landlord - Tenant for Virginia

Q: What can I do when my utility bill is way too high and the apartment complex is overcharging us for the water bill.

We already have spoken to the regional property manager they sent a maintenance tech say it was off and it's not calculating correctly. We are not the only tenant being overcharged we have spoken to other tenants who are getting overcharged as well.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If you and other tenants believe that your apartment complex is overcharging for water bills, there are several steps you can take to address the issue:

1. Document the problem: Keep records of your water bills, including the amounts charged and any communication with the property manager or maintenance staff.

2. Organize with other tenants: Gather evidence from other tenants who are also being overcharged. There is strength in numbers when addressing this issue with management.

3. Review your lease agreement: Check your lease to understand your rights and responsibilities regarding utility charges. Look for any clauses that specify how water bills should be calculated.

4. Formally request a resolution: Write a letter or email to your property manager, clearly outlining the issue, providing evidence, and requesting a resolution. Set a reasonable deadline for a response.

5. Escalate the issue: If the property manager does not resolve the issue satisfactorily, consider escalating the matter to the property owner or management company.

6. Contact local authorities: If you believe the overcharging is intentional or violates local laws, contact your local tenant rights organization, housing authority, or attorney general's office for guidance.

7. Consider legal action: As a last resort, if the issue remains unresolved and you have sufficient evidence, consult with a lawyer specializing in tenant rights to explore potential legal options.

Remember to remain calm and professional throughout the process. Document all interactions with the property management and keep copies of all correspondence. By working together with other tenants and following these steps, you can work towards a fair resolution of the overcharging issue.

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.