Is a security alarm system included in a “Tenant pays all utilities” clause?

UPDATED: Jul 29, 2012

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Is a security alarm system included in a “Tenant pays all utilities” clause?

I lease a home to a tenant. My lease states that tenat pays all utilities. She is refusing to pay the security alarm bill which has been in the home since she moved in. She has paid it previously.

Asked on July 29, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Mississippi


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A security alarm is not commonly regarded as a "utility." It is most likely the case, therefore, that unless the lease specifically defined it as such, that the tenant does not have to pay--a court most most likely not consider the alarm a utility. Even if she paid it previously, that would not obligate her to continue paying it.

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