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Currently I live in a a housing situation where we have four housemates (counting myself.) We split the utilities bill four ways.

Recently one of the housemates quit his job and decided to pursue post-graduate education. That housemate is related to the land lady (I think he’s her nephew or son.) As of last month, the utilities have been split three ways rather than the typical four as I'd except. I haven't made a fuss of it just yet as I'm asking around for advice on what to do before doing anything.

Is there anything I can do in this situation, besides move out? I'm under a lease agreement so I can't do anything for a few months time. I'm wondering if it's possible for me to be kicked out because I'm speaking up and the housemate is using his advantage being related to the land lady.

Context: This is in the United States, specifically California. I recall signing papers for the lease but I do not recall there being something specific about paying utilities or how that is split outside of a verbal agreement.

While the amount difference is not large, I'm asking mainly on principle since I feel it is morally wrong.

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    Look at the terms of the lease. If you don't have it, ask to get a copy. Before you go into the principle questions, make sure you understand what you have agreed to in writing. – Hilmar Feb 18 '19 at 13:28
  • "I'm under a lease agreement so I can't do anything for a few months time" - are you sure? I'd advise you to take another look at the agreement - any that I've ever come across allowed for breaking the lease agreement as long as notice (e.g. one month) was given. – colmde Feb 19 '19 at 9:27
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    Also I don't get what the tenant being related to the land-lady has to do with anything. Does he have an agreement with her that he doesn't have to pay his share of the utilities? If that's the case, then the rest of you should be paying 3/4 of the utilities (i.e. still 1/4 each) and the land-lady cover his quarter. Or is it you're afraid he'll use it as blackmail (i.e. "cover my share or I'll have my auntie kick you out") – colmde Feb 19 '19 at 9:28
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    "I haven't made a fuss of it just yet" - then a legal challenge should probably not be your first course of action, the three of you need to talk to him about it, and maybe this question should be on interpersonal.SE – colmde Feb 19 '19 at 9:31

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