Landlord legal issues…

By Marissa

Is is legal for my landlord to present me with their sanitation bill and expect me to pay it monthly?

Also, is it legal for my landlord to rent is due on the 1st before 6:30 and put a $50 late fee if it is late (on the same day)? Plus a $35 per day charge after that?  I always thought it was due on the first and late on the fifth.  I feel my landlord legal issues may be violating some type of apartment law.

Edited on: Wednesday, December 15th, 2010 12:29 pm

8 Responses to “Landlord legal issues…”

My response: (We welcome stories, examples, explanations, answers and a touch of your personality)

Agent Paxton

April 29th, 2008 8:58 am

To answer your questions… Yes it is legal for your landlord to require you to pay the garbage collection cost (sanitation bill). However, this is typically applicable to tenants that rent a single family house. If you are renting from a property that has multiple units, you should only be required to pay a pro-rated portion of the rent. So for example, if you’re renting a duplex (2 rentals sharing one garbage) and the garbage collection fee is $50, you would only be required to pay $25, since that would be the portion applicable to your rental.

Agent Paxton

April 29th, 2008 9:11 am

I forgot to answer your other questions about rent due dates and late fees. You are right that most landlords or apartment complexes will say rent is due on the 1st of the month and late after the 5th. However, this is not a dictated rent law. In fact, when landlords give a grace period usually ranging from 3 to 5 days they are doing it as an added service to you. If your rent is due on the 1st or the 15th or even some weird day like the 17th of the month, you are responsible to pay by that day and by the time cut-off stated in the contract (6:30PM in your case). If you pay after the time stated in the contract you are in breach of contract and are required by law to pay the penalities such as the late fee or daily fees. The contract in essence becomes the law, this is why it is so important to understand your lease agreement before signing. I will say the the fee of $35 for each day that you are late, is probably the highest amount I’ve ever seen. State rental laws are written somewhat vague, meaning that it will not usually spell out the actual amounts that a landlord can charge for late fees. I would think that any fee over 8% is not fair and unethical.

Agent Paxton

April 29th, 2008 10:32 am

Every city is different, however I’ve seen that typically the Garbage, Water, and Sewage are all combined on one bill… this making up the sanitation bill. It’s rare for landlords to require their tenants to pay those bills separately, most of the time it is covered in the cost of the rent. It seems that you may be renting from a landlord that is going to charge you every little thing he/she can. You should be able to refer to your written agreement as to what is included with rent. If your agreement doesn’t list the sanitation bill as your responsibility your should be able to dispute it through the RPA Mediation Center. Most tenants are expected to cover the following utilities: Gas, Electricity and sometimes water. The other cost such as yearly property taxes, garbage collection, sewage etc. are rolled into the cost of rent, but not always. When someone becomes a landlord they can establish the business how ever they want, as long as it doesn’t violate renters rights and laws. So unless you have a signed agreement with the landlord excluding specific utility cost, you will be required to pay them. If you feel its not fair you can still file a landlord complaint through the RPA Mediation center, and maybe we can get your landlord to pay for the sanitation bill.


April 29th, 2008 10:38 am

Man that stinks!!! I’ve never heard of a landlord that charges for that?!! Here’s my advice- MOVE!!! Go somewhere else that doesn’t nickel and dime you for every little thing, thats stupid! Your landlord sounds like a real loser!


April 29th, 2008 9:25 am

The Sanitation Bill is actually for the city septic system (sewage). The city will not change the bill into my name (as the renter) because they told me it is the home owners responsability. So they are going to bring me their sanitation bill every month, and I am required to pay the bill. It does not seem right, why not just ask for a higher rent to cover their own personal expenses as landlords.


May 10th, 2010 9:07 pm

We are renting a place in the new state till we sell our house in the old state.
Our problem: $100 water bill!
When we moved in the landlord said he would give us a bill (I assumed that it was all on one bill and he prorated), NOT. We found out we have a meater that he reads and then charges us $10 + sewar + water usage but at $3.05 higher rate than what the city charges. So when everyone else is paying $3.95/1000 gal., we are paying $7.00/1000 gal. I called the city water department, they know he is doing this, they think it stinks but said they can’t do anything about it. We already pay $700 for a 198something double wide. Not the best but we needed something fast and that would take pets so we could move out of our house (900 miles away) and get it ready to show to sell it. Unfortunately, we got stuck in a situation where we were new in town, didn’t know the crummy landlords from the others (is there any good landlords left) and got suckered in not realizing what specific questions to ask.
Is there any place that we can voice this concern? If this is left unchecked, landlords could be charging horrible rates for water.
Sincerely stressed beyond limit,

Dennis Gillerman

March 3rd, 2011 10:34 am

As to whether you landlord charging you for sanitation and water. If you signed the lease or addendum to the lease stating that utilities were included in the rent , no. If, however there was a clause in the lease that mentioned utilities and the tenant would be billed separate from the rent, yes it is perfectly legal. I live in a one bedroom apartment and I don’t use much water and still have to pay the same amount as a apartment that is occupied by 2 or 3 people and in the state of Arizona , it’s perfectly legal.


July 28th, 2011 10:32 am

I rent an apartment, I do not mind paying for water/gas but on a monthly basis I receive a $100 bill. I think this price is way too high; if I lived in a house I would receive a bill quarterly(which would be cheaper). How do I go about figuring out if my landlord is ripping the tenants off; we are also charged $10 per month for trash removal.


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