Paying for Illegal Apartment Electric–what do i do?

By anonc

I have noticed that my electricty bill is very high.  I notice that there are only two mailboxes yet there is ana aprtment in the basement which would make it three units.  I looked up the property at the tax assessors site and show that it is zoned for only 2 units.  The basement is an illegal apartment.  I asked my andlord to see the meters since I could not fidn them.  Landrd refused in a evasive, trying to be nice but waive it off way.  I called PSEG (I am in NJ) and there are only 2 meters for the building.  I am having PSEG come out to do check for a high bill complaint.  I know I am paying for the basement unit along with the washer, dryer, and other appliances that are located downstairs so I want to prove it before moving forward.   I am upset but even more so beacuse I know that the landlord knows based on the very odd and evasive responses I got to direct questions I asked.  

My question is:  Once I have the report from PSEG that this is indeed true, what do I need to do?  
I plan on withholding rent until there is a resolution.  The landlord has obviously doen this for years and I am just the first one to investiagate.  That is theft…and a major one.  My bill should be about $50 yet it was $195…multiply that by years….Should I allow her to resolve it by paying me what’s owed and fixing the issue or do i take her to court?  I am worried if I try to resolve it amicably that she will have me leavse as I am on a montht o month lease. Wuld court buy me more time and get me better results?
Keep in mind she has an illegal apartment which meanse she has not been paying taxes on that or the money she gets from the tenat for rent. She has a lot to lose.

Edited on: Monday, October 14th, 2013 2:02 pm

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