I rent a rooftop in Taipei and my lease is ending in two and a half months. As I did with my previous apts., I notified the landlord that I will be moving out and that she should apply my deposit(2 months) towards the final two months rent. The LL is refusing, and wants me to pay one more month. She is citing the “bill money” as her reason.

Because the rooftop is billed through the same electic and water meters as the floor below, I have always paid my LL an extra NT$1,000 a month for bills. The rooftop has it’s own meters, but these are not read by the meter readers. This is so the rooftop and 6th floor apt. can share one bill, yet know exactly what each apt. owes. At the beginning of the lease, the numbers displayed on these meters was written down. This was done with the understanding that at the end of the lease, the amount due to the LL (or me) could be calculated using the present meter values. Incidentally, no one has ever lived below me, so in effect no calculation is really required… just the bills(which she has, not me).

I offered to meet with the LL so that we can sit down and calculate what exactly is owed. I don’t want to skip out on money that I owe someone, but I have been burned enough times on deposits that I like to maintain the upper hand when I’ve got it. This particular LL’s previous record of failing to hold up her end of a bargain indicates to me that she will probably not return my deposit, so I’m not going to give her the option. I also wouldn’t put it past her to try and inflate the amount I owe.

I would like to know the formula for calculating how much I owe for electricity and water. Looking at old bills from another apt, I see a few numbers that seem to correspond to meter values. After I subtract the original meter values from their present values, what do I multiply the difference by to calculate what is owed?

Thanks!