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Broken water pipe-high water bill by Beth (FL) on July 27, 2010 @15:21

                              
I received notice from my tenants that they received an abnormally high water bill ($745) After investigating, I found a broken pipe from the meter to the house and repaired it.
I am already seeking a bill reduction from the water department, but was wondering what my obligation to the tenant is? I want to be fair, but noy to the point of paying the entire bill. Ay experience in this matter?
Thanks!
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Re: Broken water pipe-high water bill by Anonymous on July 27, 2010 @15:34 [ Reply ]
Do you mean to tell me that the tenants never noticed anything like water leaking or pouring out from a broken pipe? Was there a big wet spot in the yard that would be noticeable? How did the pipe get broken? Did it naturally rust or age and fall apart or was it actually broken by force of some sort? Was the pipe buried or in a location where it could get hit or kicked or vandalized? Do you suspect foul play or carelessness? If the pipe just fell or rusted apart I would consider reimbursing them partially. Get their last months bill useage, subtract it from the $745.00, and divide the difference in two, and pay 1/2 of the excess. However, they rented the house as is, including potetnial leaks. Are they model tenants? Any other issues? Do they pay on time or early?
Re: Broken water pipe-high water bill by Polly (MO) on July 27, 2010 @15:37 [ Reply ]
Good luck with the water bill reduction. But, about the obligation to the renter. I would say you do not owe them anything if you responded to their notice about the leak in a timely manner. I do not know how the renter could let $745 of water leak out and never notice. You are talking about enough water to fill an olympic swimming pool. I understand that you want to be fair but I just do not see why you should pay for this kind of water bill. Where was the water going anyway?
Re: Broken water pipe-high water bill by Anonymous on July 27, 2010 @15:43 [ Reply ]
Good luck with the water bill reduction. But, about the obligation to the renter. I would say you do not owe them anything if you responded to their notice about the leak in a timely manner. I do not know how the renter could let $745 of water leak out and never notice. You are talking about enough water to fill an Olympic swimming pool. I understand that you want to be fair but I just do not see why you should pay for this kind of water bill. Where was the water going anyway?
Re: Broken water pipe-high water bill by Daniel B (Calgary, AB, Canada) on July 27, 2010 @17:54 [ Reply ]
My experience: We had a basement suite we were renting in 2005. The toilet floater broke and was leaking for an entire month. We could hear the water running, but we didn't know the suite was empty and leaking, it did sound as somebody taking a shower. (The tenant was dumb as a doorknob, don't tell me you can't notice that thing running non-stop in your own bathroom). To make things short, from a normal $100/months bill we had a $1263 bill that month. This happened in Calgary, Alberta. We applied for a reduction, we hired a plumber to have a paper that say that everything was fixed (cost $90 for a 10 minutes inspection), and they decided it was unintentional (true) and got $1100 credit 2 months later. We had to pay actually the big bill to avoid being charged late fees.
So, good luck!

Lessons learned:
1: When you have the minimal suspicion that there could be a leak, get into the rental and check it out. We were fine, but in some other rentals you can have a flooded basement or water damage.
2: Tenants can be extremely dumb!

Re: Broken water pipe-high water bill by Regena (Florida) on July 28, 2010 @09:59 [ Reply ]
Beth, check out Arkansas Landlord Tenant Law, Consumer Protection Divison, Office of the Attorney General, State of Arkansas . . unless it is specifically in writing, the Landlord is NOT required by Arkansas Law to maintain or make repairs on the rental property. Even with a written lease, Tenants basically have very few rights in Arkansas. Of course, since you own the property, I would get the pipe fixed but the bill is their responsibility . PERIOD ! ! They must be idiots not to have noticed because that is a HUGE amount of water . .
Re: Broken water pipe-high water bill by Beth (FL) on July 28, 2010 @10:58 [ Reply ]
First, thanks for taking the time to respond.
No, it wasn't their fault. The pipe is buried and the water leak wasn't evident.
And I did fix it immediately.
Re: Broken water pipe-high water bill by OK-LL on July 28, 2010 @12:59 [ Reply ]
I'll probably get flak for this answer, but here's how I'd handle it. I'd ask myself whether the leak would have occurred even if the unit were vacant. Answer is yes. Then I'd ask if the tenant's reported the leak at the earliest possible opportunity. You say the water was not evident on the surface of the property, so the answer is yes, they reported it as soon as they perceived a problem by viewing the high water bill. So if the tenants didn't cause it and they didn't allow it to exacerbate, they probably aren't responsible for it. Therefore, I would pay the water bill (less the normal water useage of the tenant, which they will pay), petition for a reduction (especially as it affects the sewer bill and none of this water was going down the sewer) and move on.
Re: Broken water pipe-high water bill by blank (tx) on May 17, 2011 @04:16 [ Reply ]
I myself am a tenant& I believe my bill is my responsibility.If i didn't notice the leak & it was wear&tear,I feel it my responsibly to fix it through the water company.As my landlord I would expect you to @ least provide the proof that it was an accident so i can fight for a reimbursement.On the other hand if you were aware you had plumbing problems & the tenant didn't notice the leak THEN I believe you should pay the excess amount & fight for a reimbursement yourself.
Re: Broken water pipe-high water bill by A.Roddy (TN) on September 7, 2011 @19:25 [ Reply ]
I think we all are responsible for water conversation. Water companies can be crooked. yes it is possible to not know. Sometimes there is no difference in water pressure. We had a leak but immediately began shutting the water on and off at the meter until ti could get fixed. Our water bill is high because when we left it on, it leaked a gallon each 7 seconds Of course, the utility company didn't seem to notice the jump in our bill. If so, they never told us.
Here is a story
http://www.kirotv.com/money/14085481/detail.html

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