It's imperative that you read the lease very carefully, with special attention to the paragraph regarding utilities.
If you signed the lease, you are bound by the provisions of the lease, no matter what was told to you verbally.
Hoping that your lease is explicit and clarifies who is responsible for what.
When you say that they are not separated, do you mean that all shows up on a single bill ? Or that there is actually only one meter for each ?
Are there individual sub-meters for the utilities? If so, it's extremely easy to determine which unit used how much of each utility. If the units are not sub-metered, it means that you only have one gas meter, one water meter, etc. for the entire building. That will be impossible to determine which unit used how much water, gas, etc.
Re your requests to the property management firm, keep a timeline of all conversations, persons involved, etc.
Keep detailed records, and put everything in writing.
Here's a link that you might want to look at: http://www.dca.ca.gov/publications/landlordbook/catenant.pdf
Here's also the contact details for San Bernardino County
SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY
Inland Fair Housing and Mediation Board
560 North Arrowhead Avenue, Suite 7A
San Bernardino, CA 92401
(909) 888-3763 (800) 321-0911
(909) 972 1616
Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes Realty
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
Here is a link to the landlord/tenant laws for California - your first issue is addressed on pages 17 and 22 with possible outcomes on page 22. The following is on page 22:
if the utility meter for your rental unit is shared with another unit or another part of the building (see page 17), then the landlord must reach an agreement with you on who will pay for the shared utilities. this agreement must be in writing (it can be part of the rental agreement or lease), and can consist of one of the following
1. the landlord can pay for the utilities provide through the meter for your rental unit by placing the utilities in the landlordâ€™s name;
2. the landlord can have the utilities in the area outside your rental unit put on a separate meter in the landlordâ€™s name; or
3. You can agree to pay for the utilities provided through the meter for your rental unit to areas outside your rental unit. (as referenced in Civil Code Section 1940.9. This section also provides remedies for violations)
It is also the landlord's responsibility to have trash receptacles available and in good repair. Probably see if you can pay your half of the trash and utilities with CHECKS directly made out to those companies. Maybe that will help - GOOD LUCK - a bad landlord or management company is never fun to deal with.