Accidental use of water and water company?

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Abe wrote:

Thanks, Abe, that's what I was looking for, some real world actual experience, as opposed to "it's your own fault, what do u expect, yaddda yaddda yaddda.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Why are you assuming my advice on the utility company reaction isn't actual experience?
And it was the tenant's fault. When you're made aware of a potentially damaging situation, and you ignore it, you've bought the situation. Now obviously the landlord and utility companies won't know that you explicitly warned the tenant about the water heater, but you and the tenant do. Now it shifts from a question of home repair into the area of ethics.
You're looking at a couple or three hundred bucks in utility bills. And you and/or the tenant is looking for a way to slide out of this one for free.
Abe's situation was completely different. It was a hidden condition where a rock pierced a buried water line. Ask Abe if he would have ignored an ancient water heater after he had been warned about its inevitable demise.
Personally, I'd be thanking the landlord for having a sump pump that was in place and working.
R
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You're quite right, mine was a completely different situation, and I'm not at all clear that it applies here. Whatever the cause of the leak, however, there might be some relief available for the OP, and it's at least worth looking into. All he has to lose is a phone call.
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RicodJour wrote:

No, I'm more interested in who is legally responsible. I see small claims cases regularly where a water or sewer pipe breaks, damages tenants property and the landlord winds up having to pay. This seems very similar.
As for who knows what, first, all I gave was my opinion. There is nothing to say that my opinion or advice was right. I'm no plumber or home inspector. It's also clear the landlord knew how old the water heater was, because she has owned it the whole time.

Why should the landlord be thanked for having a working sump pump, which the basement requires to begin with to keep it dry?

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The yaddda yaddda yaddda I gave you was based on a 60,000 gallon use of water over the norm. The water department did come back to verify the reading since it was unusual, but they sent the bill and we had to pay it.
If you want to come to Uxbridge MA, I'll show you the meter and you can verify the readings and bill.
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wrote:

So what happened that took 60,000 gallons?

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mm wrote:

Four female visitors for a week?
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Was the week worth it?
Bob
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mm wrote:

Dumbski read a post about brain enemas. After 60,000 gallons he's still a dumb ass.
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On 12 Jul 2006 09:37:58 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Don't like responses you get here - to bad. My comments were real world. I know the difference in a "new smiling tenant" and one that later shows "true colors".
Oren
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Oren wrote:

What the hell are you talking about now? A new smiling tenant and one that shows true colors? It was the landlord's water heater that sprang a leak and caused the problem. I've seen plenty of cases in small claims where a tenant had property damaged do to a pipe breaking. And in just about every case, the landlord wound up responsible and had to pay for the damages. Or are you the kind of landlord that doesn't replace a 23 year old water heater and then says it's all the tenants fault?
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On 12 Jul 2006 11:10:05 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Read my thread. I said the landlord should fix the water heater. Read my thread where I said I kept an emergency fund for major things like AC, water heater .... meaning things essential to a tenants well being. So don't give me a phriggn lecture, as I may day dream.
Anyway the person billed should pay the bill. No claim for property damage from the tenant? No the sump pump worked, so get a date.
You may be this tenant, so back off if you think I will sign-off on a way out of a water bill or the landlord's responsibility.
Oren
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Never know what you can get unless you ask. Contact the utility companies for their policy for such events. They should have one. Also discuss it with the landlord. The only real people with answers here are the utility companies and the landlord. Ask them.
--
Grandpa

What is that dripping from my fingers?
  Click to see the full signature.
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On 12 Jul 2006 07:41:31 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The person "billed" for the account will be the one to pay. When I had tenants, the lease specifically indicated they paid all utilities and those accounts were in their names. Some things like garbage pick up and association fees could not be placed in the tenant name, but it was written in the lease that they pay them.
I always had an emergency fund for big items, like a broken AC, water heater, etc. Tenants, by the lease were to notify me if any broke..
I think the landlord should fix the water heater as he has a vested interest keeping property in good shape.
I had one leak and guess I lost about 500 gallons, just looking at the bill that I paid. A neighbor lost somewhere close to 5,000 gallons due to a main from the meter to the house that broke from a tree root. The builder fixed the water line, I think he paid the water.
Oren
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My city charges for sewer based on the gallons of water consumed. They assume a certain amount of water usage goes down the sewer in the summer months. The rest of the water bill does not have the sewer charge. Not sure if they have their own fixed numbers or if they use your average water usage. In the summer months this "rate reduction" is automatic. Likewise, if you tell them you will be filling your swimming pool, you can provide the before and after water meter readings and they will charge you only for the water (not sewer). The swimming pool example is first-hand from my neighbor.
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My utility charge for sewage based on the winter water usage rate.
Bob
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Oren wrote:

Wow, that's big of you. You THINK the landlord should fix the water heater? As opposed to doing what? Some great landlord you must be.
PS: Just because the lease says the tenant pays the utilities doesn't absolve the landlord from winding up having to pay in small claims, because the issue obviously is that the tenant would not have incurred this expense had the landlords 23 year old water heater failed.

Oh my! The builder paid? Why would he ever do that instead of the homeowner paying?

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On 12 Jul 2006 11:14:03 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Still don't like answers you get, so you must attack. Tell us the tenant's responsibility in this case.

The court has to WIND 'em up. Go ahead take up your friend's cause. You may be his best advice, that he did not take before.

The builder planted the tree at or near the water line and was under warranty, not like a 23 yo water heater..........
Oren
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Oren wrote:

The tenant's responsibility for what? The landlord knew how old the water heater was. The condo passed a CO inspection in Dec. What more do you want? Just because I gave an opinion, that now turned out to be right, that means the landlord has no responsibility?
As for attacking, call it what you want. But when a water heater bursts and you say:
"I think the landlord should fix the water heater as he has a vested interest keeping property in good shape."
I think it pretty much shows where you're coming from. Most reasonable people would say the landlord must replace the water heater because the landlord is responsible for it as a most basic part of the rental contract.

Whether the water heater had a warranty or not is irrelevant as far as damages go. And I've never seen a home warranty that includes coverage for paying for water or gas that was billed as a result of a leak. The fact that the builder who paid for the repair and the lost water, planted a tree nearby that contributed to the problem seems pretty similar to a landlord choosing to continue using a 23 year old gas water heater.
So, I'd say your example does prove that in at least some of these cases, someone other than the homeowner/tenant does pay for the lost water. We've also seen that others have reported utilities cutting breaks to help as well.

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On 12 Jul 2006 07:41:31 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I think YOU should pay for all this misery. It's clear that you did not make a strong enough effort to make your friend take your warnings seriously. You really failed badly, and just look at the result. While you are at it, I think you should apologize to the landlord for not notifying him of this clear danger before disaster struck.
CWM
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