Florida-Receiving monthly charges without being informed.


New Member
Hi. I hope you are doing well!

I would appreciate some legal advice guidance regarding being a tenant where I received monthly charges without being informed.

I'm in a month to month apartment lease since September 2022 paying a flat rate of 1,912 per month.

I have paperwork from Spring 2022 that only residents who renew a lease after April 2022 will be paying water/sewer charges in a ratio billing method based on the number of occupants and the square footage of the apartment. My written lease expired August 31, 2022.

It doesn't say all residents and it doesn't say anything about month to month having to pay. It says those who renew a lease.

With this paperwork I received, I was under the indication that if I went into month to month that I would not have to pay these charges under their new billing method.

This was confirmed when the property manager and I had a phone call on Friday, September 2, 2022. We discussed the month to month in detail. I had even inquired about the water at that time.

We went over each charge of what I would pay going forward (1,840 base amount, the cable television $45, the valet trash $25, and pest control fee $2 – total of 4 charges) for the final flat rate total of 1,912. The property manager informed me that there is no lease for a month to month, so there is nothing for me sign.

At the beginning of April 2024, additional charges were billed to my rental account when I logged in to pay my rent.

There are not only allocated water and sewer charges, but now allocated trash, common area electricity, rent service fee, and a service fee totaling roughly $90, which I never received any kind of paperwork or notification about.

I contacted my property manager immediately and told them that there are additional charges on my account. They apologized and said sorry that no one informed me that I would have to start paying these and they also informed me that I should have been paying water all along since I started my month to month in September 2022.

I received no written notice that these would be charged. I didn't agree to these terms and conditions since nothing was signed back in September 2022.

They said to me that I still "renewed" a lease as a month to month lease, even though no physical lease was signed.

It is now May and I have more new charges added on now totaling roughly $173.

I still paid my $1,912 for April and for May but haven't paid these new charges.

I haven't paid it yet because I'm not sure if paying it makes me contractually obligated to these terms that I never agreed to.

Could you help me and provide some guidance?

Thank you and I look forward to your reply!
First thing you do is read your old lease to see if it addresses what happens when you go month to month. Many leases specify that the month to month tenancy is subject to the same terms and conditions as expired lease.

Once you find that, then look for provisions about changes because those provisions may obligate you to the additional fees.

The other thing to look for is something that says the only binding agreement is within the four corners of the written contract co anything said over the phone doesn't count unless you got it in writing.

The last thing you have to understand is that all they need to do is give you 30 days written notice of the new charges and you'll pay them going forward, if by some chance you skate on the charges that you haven't paid.