Tenant/Landlord: Shared Metering
October 3, 2006 4:42 AM Subscribe
I just found out that I'm paying for another tenant's electricity usage (and have been for the last 4 years). What now?
posted by NYScott to human relations (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Yesterday, the local power company sent a rep. to the 2-family building where I live. She was looking for the upstairs tenant, who was not available. The rep. told me the power to the 2nd floor was shut off 2 months ago (presumably for non-payment), and the tenant did not complain.
Last night, I saw light coming from the 2nd floor, as well as the sound of a TV. Obviously, there is electricity getting to the apartment even though the power was shut off at the meter. Being just 2 electric meter in the basement, it's clear the power is coming through my meter...
Here's the problem: I know this condition is called "shared metering," and there are clear laws concerning this type of situation, with the full responsibility & costs associated with the rectification placed squarely upon the landlord. I like my landlord, and he gives me a good deal on the rent because I'm a friend-of-a-friend. However, I've lived here for 4 years, and apparently I've been paying a large portion of the electrical usage of the other tenant for the entire time. I was aware of the lack of a "house meter" (I am paying for external lights & lights in common areas), but I had no problem with that, since those lights are either in my control and/or are attached to motion sensors, so the costs associated are negligible.
My options: grin & bear it (and continue to pay for the other tenant's electrical usage); get the power corp. involved in an investigation (which would cause my landlord to incur the expenses of probably rewiring the entire house, as well as all the penalties & fees associated with the shared metering condition); come to an agreement with the landlord (and I have *no* idea what would be a fair & equitable solution).
Thanks in advance!