Screwed on final apartment utilities?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by puma1552, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Nov 20, 2008
    My wife and I had a lease at our last place until January 31st.

    When we did the final walk through, the guy said we'd get the whole deposit back.

    I asked about final utilities, how we would pay those since they wouldn't be billed until after the 31st. I asked if he would send a bill to our new place or how they would handle it.

    The guy said they would escrow the final utilities and said that "it's usually accurate to within a couple of bucks," and that they would just take it from the deposit refund.

    I took this to mean that they would just pull out a certain amount from the deposit in the meantime (an estimate), probably cut us a check, and then when all was said and done and utilities came in, either do some kind of adjustment or if it was "within a couple of bucks" just let it go. I was fine with that.

    I just got my deposit check five minutes ago. On it is the following:

    1) Escrow for final rationed utility billing: $60
    2) Account balance 2/21/13: $39.60
    3) Total charges: $99.60
    4) Deposit refund: $405.40 ($500-$99.60).

    The account balance from 2/21/13 is for the final January utilities. I have a statement for that. Account was always current, utilities always paid like clockwork.

    So it looks to me like they took $39.60 for final utilities, AND took $60 for "final rationed utility billing" which to me means final utilities. In other words, they took 60 bucks for nothing.

    Am I misunderstanding something here? I'm going to call tomorrow, but maybe I am misunderstanding how this works. Not sure how an escrow account plays in here. Either way though it seems to me like they took an extra $60 I didn't owe.
  2. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    AFAIK, with rationed utility billing, you pay into an escrow account an estimate of the utility cost, and the landlord pays the utility company themselves. If you overpaid over the course of the lease, they refund you at the end of the lease. If you underpaid by $60, they charge you that.

    I don't know if that's the case here. I'm curious what it was, though, as I'm getting ready to move this year myself.
  3. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Were you paying the utility company or were they? If you were and you were on budget billing, if you were behind on the budget (used more than you'd paid to that point) some of that may be for the catch-up.

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