Rental Basics in 92835>Question Details

oceanbait, Home Buyer in 92883

can the word utilites include assessment / assoc. dues in ca lease agreement ?

Asked by oceanbait, 92883 Tue Jan 15, 2013

Tenants signed an lease knowing i would pay 300.00 towards utilities and anything over would cost them ! Even though they know it included assoc dues they are reniging on it ! ?????

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Brian Wilson’s answer
Hello Oceanbait,

You already had good information from Thom and Linda and I concur with them. I have written many leases and everything is spelled out in the lease agreement. Also I have never considered the HOA as a utility. Typically the owner pays the HOA dues since it is the owner's responsibility.

How much are your HOA dues? Why not just pay them and let the tenants cover the utilities, simple is always better.

I suggest sitting down with the tenants and start with apologizing for the confusion and saying something like, "let's see if we can come to an agreement we both can live with". This way you can amend the current lease in writing (each party signing the amendment) and hopefully everything will go smoothly from then on.

Good luck,

Brian Wilson, Realtor
DRE# 01321478
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 15, 2013
you were smart to include the $300;
they should have nothing to complain about.

I have never seen UTILITIES include anything but utilities;
no one would include taxes or HOA fees.

HOWEVER, I always understood that HOA fees are the responsibility of the OWNER, not the Tenant.

Good luck
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 15, 2013
It depends on the lease agreement used - however the standard California Association of Realtors does not include HOA dues as part of 'Utilities'. The verbiage used in the Lease Agreement reads:

"UTILITIES: Tenant agrees to pay for all utilities and services, and the following charges:___________
except ____________, which shall be paid for by Landlord. If any utilities are not separately metered, Tenant shall pay Tenant’s proportional share, as reasonably determined and directed by Landlord. If utilities are separately metered, Tenant shall place utilities in Tenant’s name as of the Commencement Date. Landlord is only responsible for installing and maintaining one usable telephone jack and one telephone line to the Premises. Tenant shall pay any cost for conversion from existing utilities service provider."

However, you can change the contract to accommodate any payment agreement. It will really depend on your particular lease agreement - but the standard lease does not include the tenant paying HOA.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 15, 2013
In 30 years of property management, I have never included HOA in "utilities" might have been more clear to state exactly what was included in "utilities" and that you would pay $300 toward that...verbal means nothing.....has to be in writing.......Of course, if they litigate the judge may say something else.

For professional property management, contact me.

Linda M. Lukas
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 15, 2013
It should have been spelled out in the Lease Agreement what was covered and if so, anything that was not covered. For EXAMPLE;
Excludes: Gas/Water/Electric/Trash over $300 per month
Includes: HOA/Gardner/Pool Service. And Gas/Water/Electric/Trash UP TO $300/month.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 15, 2013
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