Posted by nancy on January 19, 2000 at 21:58:15:
In Reply to: Gas & Oven posted by Kara on January 18, 2000 at 20:50:10:
: Hi All! Well, got a bit of a problem! I live in Albany, NY in a early 1900's/Late 1800's apartment building with 4 other apartments. My problem is... Since I moved in we turned the oven on for 10 minutes to cook ONE TIME! We eat a lot of fast food, at my parents, etc. Well- I got my bill for electricity and gas. I got a $20 charge for the basic gas services (ok fine, this is required), but there was also a $40 charge for gas usage!!! We called the LL and he claims that that the gas only goes to our apartment and that it is only used for the oven. My question is how do I prove that it goes to the other apartments? My Boyfriend was already down there looking, and couldn't figure it out. DO I call the power/gas company? Deduct this $40 from my rent? Any suggestions are welcome!! THanks!!
Kara, Under NY Public Service Law if the meter providing gas or electric service to a residential tenant also serves areas outside of the apartment, this is a condition called a shared meter which in most cases is illegal. (The main exceptions are if the use outside the apt. is extremely small, or if there was an agreement between you and the landlord that you would pay for the use outside the apt & the agreement--i.e. a lease provision--was made prior to the existence of this law--this doesn't sound like the case from what you've said.) If you call the utility & tell them you think this is happening (based on the bill), they should come and inspect. If they decide there's a shared meter, they'll bill the account to the landlord. Obviously the landlord won't be happy about this which may cause problems for you.
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