Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Florida

Am i required to pay half of the utilities if i am not there?

I am a college student in Florida. My father and I own a condo that I live in. I rent the extra room to a fellow student. I am planning on going back to my home town for the summer, and I am not going to be living there. We split the utility and cable bill. I am wondering if i am required to still pay half of the bills even if i will not be there. Spliting of the bills is not mentioned in her lease.

thank you

Asked on 3/20/02, 7:45 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Peter Gonzalez Sanchez-Medina, Gonzalez, Quesada, Lage, Crespo, Gomez & MachadoLLP

Re: Am i required to pay half of the utilities if i am not there?

Although you may arguably have a legal basis to assert that the tenant should pay all costs while you're away, the practical reality is that it's better to continue paying half the costs than to have the tenant move out and leave you paying all the bills while you try to find another tenant to replace the one you already had and were use to living with. 3 months of half a cable bill and utilities is not worth losing a paying tenant or creating bad blood that will make living with the tenant after the summer a miserable experience. Besides, if you have to hire a lawyer, 3 or 4 hours of the lawyer's time will cost you more than 3 months worth of 50% of the cable and utility bills. Tell the tenant you will continue to cover half the bills even though the lease does not require you to in your absence, and that in exchange for that, the tenant will take you to a nice dinner or buy something cool for the condo that you get to keep. Be creative, not litigious.

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Answered on 3/20/02, 11:20 pm

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