Interesting query from a reader. More about the principle than the money, really:
"I live in a Hollywood studio where all my utilities are included in my rent. I put an air conditioner in my apartment earlier this summer and my landlord noticed it and now charges me an extra $40 a month. But I barely use the air conditioner [ED: Yes, mild summer] and there are no meters for individual units, so there's no way of knowing how much I am using. Plus, why is she singling me out? Ms. Single Girl who lives below me blow drys her hair every morning, is she paying extra? I guess I just want to know: Is what my landlord doing shady?
[ED: And no, this guy says there's nothing in his lease about charging extra for additional utilities.] We'd say he should propose a new monthly payment, but that's probably the wrong answer. Your suggestions, personal attacks, are welcomed below.