Can a landlord makes two units share utility bills?

I live in a three unit apartment building. The third unit hasn’t been used since I’ve lived there. I recently got a new landlord and he’s renting out the third unit. The third unit is connected to all of my utilities in my name. The landlord said the new tenant will just give us money every month for his usage. I don’t feel comfortable depending on someone I don’t know to give me their share of the money. Is this legal? I live in West Virginia. 

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  • garry
    Lv 5
    1 month ago

    he cat each property must have there own meter .

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    I am not aware of WV laws although in most other states separate meters must be provided.

  • 1 month ago

    Yes and no.  They can if the shared meter and arrangement to pay the bill is mentioned in the lease, but not if it isn't.  Warn the landlord and demand he pay for another meter, or you will go to the housing authority which will fine him, give you good cause to sue and force him to buy the meter instead (or deem the third unit illegal).

  • 1 month ago

    There is no fairness or logical way to fairly separate a utility bill. Does this mean the heat is also in your name as well as the water?

    I would begin looking for another place to live as the conditions of the lease are being changed and that is illegal. Really. Move out.

    What if they take 20 minute hot showers, ,eep the neat up to 75 degrees and run the air conditioning all summer long? What if they work from home, using utilities all day long? This is ridiculous and I would not stand for it.

    Call your local housing authority and discuss your options. There is no freaking way I would agree to such nonsense as having someone else's electricity hitchhiking on my bill. What if they do not pay? Or are late? Or move out without paying? 

    There HAS to be laws to protect you. This is crazy!

    We rented a house where the landlord's house was next door. The well and electricity for that well was on our property and our meter. However, we knew that from the get go and our cheap rent reflected that shared well situation. When the landlord moved to Florida and sold us the house, he built his own well that was hooked up to his electricity. That was back in the day when people were honest.

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  • 1 month ago

    I am not aware of WV laws although in most other states separate meters must be provided.

  • 1 month ago

    If the utilities cannot be separated there is no way to bill you separately for the ones only you use. You can call the utility company to see if they will put a usage meter on your apartment and only pay for what you use--but that is something the landlord will have to agree with. You MIGHT get charged more than you actually use if they don't. This is going to take some research on your part. It is not a good idea to have to depend on someone else paying their bills. You might want to also contact an attorney about how legal or up to code all this is--it's difficult to find out for you here. It will depend on your local code enforcement and your local utility companies that are involved. 

  • 1 month ago

    Do you have a lease?  If you do, he cannot legally make ANY changes to the rental agreement while the lease runs. When it expires, he is free to make any new terms he wants, and you are free to reject them and move out. If there is no lease, you are month-to-month. He cannot immediately impose this new condition; he must give you written notice according to WV landlord-tenant law (probably 30 days but you, as a tenant, should ALWAYS be familiar with the laws of your state). Once he does that, same thing. You stay, you have agreed to the new condition. You reject the new condition, YOU give written notice that you will be vacating.

    There doesn't NEED to be a separate law about utilities. The landlord-tenant law covers this situation. You can negotiate to get something you can live with or you leave, it's that simple. Me, I would tell the landlord to spend the money to separate that third unit so it has its own billing, and if he refused, I'm gone.

  • 1 month ago

    Many time leases are silent on an issue but that doesn't

    make them illegal.  In your case I think your lease should have made you aware the utilities in the third unit are connected to yours.  That said how are you going to split the utilities?  Are the units the same size?  Are the number of tenants the same? 

  • 1 month ago

    Why is this even the case? Get the third unit separated so that it pays for its own utilities. 

  • 1 month ago

    We’ve never agreed on anything. He is a new landlord who hasn’t been in contact with us. He has been going through the realtor to give us this information. It’s been 4 weeks and we have tried to call him with no response. We just texted him and this is the first conversation with him. He lives all the way out in California and hasn’t been by with a new lease. We’re still going off of one from the old landlord. 

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