I recently signed a lease on a new rental property in Perth. The signed lease states that I have gas, electricity and water included in my weekly rent however my property manager has just contacted me and told me that is incorrect and I need to pay for my own gas and electricity. Does that mean my lease agreement is void? Can I argue for either a reduction of my rent to account for the misinformation or force them to fulfil their end of the agreement and pay my gas and electricity? Thanks, Confused Renter
pictureElectricity/money from Shutterstock
Once it’s been signed by both parties, everything that was on the lease becomes a legally binding contract. The landlord can’t decide to scrub stuff off that allegedly wasn’t supposed to be there.
Could you imagine what would happen if you claimed there was an error in the rent you were willing to spend and adjusted your payments accordingly? In short, the lease is there for a reason and both parties need to stick to their side of the bargain.
If the lease says gas, electricity and water are covered, then they should be covered — at the very least, you certainly should score a reduction in rent, but the first push is to try and get what you signed up for.
For legal advice and support, contact the WA Tenant Advice line, which is a free service. It’s office hours are between 9:15am and 3:30pm, weekdays. If any readers have had similar experiences, let CR know how you handled it in the comments section below.
Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our contact tab on the right.