Vermilion, OH asked in Energy, Oil and Gas and Landlord - Tenant for Ohio

Q: My rent is going up every month & we’re being charged for gas when we don’t even use it Call me hard to text / type.

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

A: I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with rising rent and being charged for a utility you don't use. That sounds very frustrating. Here are a few thoughts and suggestions:

- Review your lease carefully to see what utilities are included in rent vs. billed separately. If gas is not specified as included, you may be within your rights to dispute the charges, especially if you truly don't have gas appliances.

- Document the situation - when the charges started, how much they are, any communication with your landlord about it. Having everything in writing will help if you need to dispute the charges later.

- Contact your landlord or property management company. Politely explain the situation and that you believe you are being charged in error since you don't use gas. See if they are willing to remove the charges.

- If your landlord is unresponsive or unwilling to reverse the charges, look into your local tenant laws and rights. Many areas have tenant unions, housing advocates, or legal aid services that provide free advice to renters.

- Regarding the rising rent - unless you are in a rent-controlled unit, landlords can typically raise rent as much as the market will bear when a lease comes up for renewal. However, there may be requirements around how much notice they need to provide you of rent increases.

- Consider negotiating with your landlord, especially if you've been a longterm, reliable tenant. They may be willing to limit the increase to keep you in the unit.

- Ultimately, you may need to weigh if you can afford the higher rent and if the apartment is still worth the cost. Looking for more affordable housing is an option, as difficult as moving can be.

I hope this gives you some ideas for addressing the situation with your landlord. Don't hesitate to tap into local resources for tenants if you need additional guidance. Wishing you all the best in getting this resolved.

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