Am I obligated to pay for the cable service if I didn’t sign up for it and it’s not in the lease?

UPDATED: Sep 18, 2012

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Am I obligated to pay for the cable service if I didn’t sign up for it and it’s not in the lease?

The manager of apartment complex that I’m living in right now forgot to turn off the cable service from the previous tenants so I had free cable for 6 months since I moved in. I’ve never agreed to obtain any cable service from them, and it’s also not in my lease. However, they just realized about it and now they are demanding me to pay for those 6 months by sending me an invoice. The cable is still going right now. I wonder can they really force me to pay for that cable service? If I refuse to pay, can they take it from my security deposit?

Asked on September 18, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Ohio


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country if your lease does not state that you are obligated to pay for the cable service that you have been receiving and you did not enter into your own agreement with the cable company to provide such service, then you have no obligation to pay for it.

Your landlord cannot force you to pay for such service from what you have written. Legally, your security deposit cannot be debited for such charge.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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