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Roommate with child, won't pay utilites for the child Rent, Utilities

Discussion in 'Roomate & Joint Leases' started by DanW, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. PayrollHRGuy

    PayrollHRGuy Well-Known Member

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    What do the leases you had each of your tenants say about the issue?
     
  2. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Asked and answered - many times. The law doesn't address this, so it falls back to your contract.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You originally wrote:

    If "per person" is a direct quote from the agreement then a child is a person and the mother pays a share for two persons.

    If you aren't willing to enforce that now, then wait until each rental agreement comes up for renewal and change the terms to something like "pro rata share per occupant."
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Unless one takes "person" to mean "renter" (e.g. "each person who rents a room here has to pay an equal portion of the utilities"). Since the child is not a "renter", then the child wouldn't be included. Ambiguous.

    Not ambiguous. ;)
     
    hrforme likes this.
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    I'm asking about your subleases with your subtenants. It's relevant because the language of those leases is what determines what they owe you for utilities.

    As you've been told many times already, there is no law on this issue. Whether the particular subtenant owes you for 1/7 or 2/8 of the utilities depends entirely on what your subleases say. If you don't want to quote that language, then there's nothing more that anyone here can tell you.
     
  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I'm certain this has been answered.
    1. Demand payment you believe is due.
    2. Evict for failure to pay.
    3. Seek a judgment from small claims for unpaid bills as outlined in your lease agreement.
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    If one takes "person" to mean "renter" one would be in error because "person" and "renter" are two distinct concepts. A "person" is a human being who is not always a "renter" and a "renter" is not always a "person."

    Courts routinely enforce contracts based on the plain meaning of words without changing the meaning. It's when a word, itself, may have more than one meaning that a court must look to the intentions of the parties.

    In this case, the meaning of "person" should not be in dispute. If the LL meant the terms to be otherwise, he should have written them so.

    Frankly, I think he got it right with "per person" because each person uses a share of the utilities and should be charged accordingly. That the tenant disagrees does not make the term ambiguous.

    To that extent I agree with mightymoose on the recommended action.
     
  8. shrinkmaster

    shrinkmaster Well-Known Member

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    No those questions are on point and relevant to your answer
     
  9. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    But what if the agreement is "each person that is renting"?
     
  10. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I think that would be a weak argument. It seems obvious what the norm is. Besides, the parent (person) renting is reasonably responsible for their child.
     
  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    It speaks to the lack of a meeting of the minds.
    Yes, but that doesn't mean the child is renting.
     
  12. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    This is what the OP wrote.

    Emphasis mine.

    Until the OP writes something different it seems useless to speculate with additional words and meanings that aren't there.
     
  13. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough. My position is that the OP paraphrased a verbal agreement. I'm sure what was written here was made to put the OP in the best light possible.
     
  14. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I'm sure you are right. But until the OP comes back and clarifies, I wouldn't waste any more time on it.
     
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