Felix1k

Convergent Billing Fees

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Is it legal for a SC landlord to pass convergent billing fees onto individual lease holders for monthly utilities if not specifically stated in the lease agreement?  I'm in a high rise apartment building in a five bedroom unit and each of us are under separate lease agreements, so we are each being charged this fee.  If paying via credit card or e-check, the lease does specify that a convenience fee would be applied but it does not specifically mention anything about convergent fees pertaining to utilities. Could the following paragraph give the landlord specific rights to charge this fee?  

 

"TENANT is liable for all costs or charges associated with LANDLORD having to provide special services (unless required by law) to TENANT or at TENANT'S request and for all fees or fines as described in Rules and Regulation.  Unless required by law, the provision of any special services shall be at LANDLORD's sole and absolute discretion."

 

The above mentioned "Rules and Regulations" do not address any rental fees.  Until December 2016, I was not given monthly invoices prior to rent/parking/utilities being due but I did pay rent and parking on time each month and utilities were paid as soon as I was notified of the amount due.  I have been withholding the monthly convergent fee for the past couple on months until I had clear information on what it was and why it was being charged.  Recently, the landlord replied with this:  "We don't charge it, the billing company does so have no lenience on our end to take it off of the bill."  I was also told that if it was not received by March 1, then they would not accept my rent check.

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