J.G. from Orange County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
How would I know if the outside light is attached to my electricity? I rented my condo through a 3rd party prop manager and this was never discussed, as this is my first time renting a condo.
Mister Condo replies:
J.G., welcome to the world of condo living! There are several types of outside lights to which you might be referring so let me assume you don’t have a switch for this light inside your unit or you would know about it. I am assuming this is a light on the exterior of your unit that automatically turns on at sunset and off at sunrise. Theoretically, this light and its power source are owned by the association as the light provides light for multiple units and may even contribute to security. In a perfect world, the association maintains the light and pays for the electricity needed to power the light. However, many condominiums were built and wired by electricians who handled the wiring in the way that made sense to them, not necessarily to the association. That means the answer to your questions is: “I don’t know”. And there may not be an easy way for you to get the answer, especially as a renter. You could inquire of your landlord to try and get the answer but they may not know either. At the end of the day, I hope that the light is useful to you and provides some extra security. I also hope it isn’t you picking up the bill. It probably isn’t you but it is also possible that the light is wired into your unit, meaning you are picking up the tab. Good luck finding out!