how much should I be charging for these shared appliances..

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On Sunday, September 13, 2015 at 12:19:39 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

That assumes that you do the work yourself. I agree, you or I could do it cheaply. But..... This is a multi unit condo and I'm not sure that in NJ you can do your own electrical/plumbing work that requires a permit in that case. Especially when you have a hostile neighbor. So, in this case, even if he has the skills, it's probably a job for a pro. Still, when the neighbor suggested the Killawatt idea, I would have looked into a metering solution that would fix the whole thing, asked her if she was willing to pay half the cost of the work, etc...... That might have made the $50 look better.
Also, OP just posted for the first time something about the condo legal documents covering this? What's up with that? That would seem to be the most relevant thing at this point, what it says about this.
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On 9/13/2015 5:56 PM, trader_4 wrote:

Yes, makes all of out postings irrelevant it it is already spelled out. That is the written contract making the rules, if there are any in place.
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On 09/13/2015 11:42 AM, taxed and spent wrote:

It's not about savings. If you are going to charge *me* for electricity and/or water, you had better accurately meter it. Guessing ain't good enough for me.
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Yes, but if they are sharing the electricity, they damn well be sharing the cost of figuring out what the share is. So, if a whole new utility service is required, the neighbor will be paying at least half of it. That puts "being reasonable" in a new light.
OP is making up numbers out of his butt. If he develops some real numbers, the neighbor would be a dope to require a lot of infrastructure to get the estimate down to a gnat's ass.
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On Sunday, September 13, 2015 at 2:42:02 PM UTC-4, taxed and spent wrote:

+1

The problem would seem to be that developing real numbers that are acceptable isn't a cheap or easy thing.
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wrote:

month for a period of time, and nothing has changed, why start to dissagree now????
The option ,if there is nothing in the condo agreement, is to install a second well and split the cost . To be fair, a 50-50 split would include a new well pump for both wells with the procedes of the sale of the old pump split evenly.
This would be quite expensive for both parties, but WOULD solve the problem permanently. The condo agreement would also need to be ammended.
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On 9/13/2015 1:37 PM, Answer Man wrote:

Here's the deal...
1) We don't know what the total cost to the OP is and, I suspect, neither does he.
2) Assuming there was no well to share. What would it cost each of them? A family of four using 100 gallons per person each day will pay on average $34.29 a month in Phoenix compared to $65.47 for the same amount in Boston. (pulled off the web, but some will be higher, some lower)
3) If the OP paid for the well, pump, water softener, and baseboard heat in the pressure tank room or whatever, he's got a LOT of skin in the game before the first glass of water is drawn in the neighbors condo.
4) There are three people in the neighbor's condo and one in the OP's. Are you really going to argue that their usage is equal?
5) When you consider the capital improvements just to HAVE the well, pump, water conditioner, etc. AND the monthly recurring cost for electricity and salt and then look at what the average city water bill is, that $50 is not a bad deal.
6) Finally, and where he screwed up, was he should have had the agreement reduced to writing. Period. They had an agreement. I'm not saying that it was a good agreement or a bad agreement. It doesn't appear that it was contingent upon who used what or how much the electricity costs turned out to be. It was, more or less, "If you will provide me with water, I will pay you $50/mo.)
7) Now the neighbor says "F**k you! I'm not paying anything"
They could have "agreed" at the outset for the neighbor to pay $200 a month and that's fine and had it been reduced to a contract the courts would uphold it and the neighbor would be on the hook for that amount. You can negotiate anything and you can contract to do anything. Once you do, you're liable.
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On Sunday, September 13, 2015 at 3:39:57 PM UTC-4, Unquestionably Confused wrote:

Good point on the water softener, I had overlooked that. I've never had one, but it typically requires putting salt in, servicing it, etc. Given the OP is paying for it, likely lugging the bags around, doing the work, $50 starts to sound quite reasonable to me. And if there is no agreement that the other party is responsible for repairs, pump replacement, softener replacement, etc, then it's probably a bargain.

+1

+1

The OP said that he's watering the lawn 2 or 3 times a day. I wonder if the neighbor had any input on that insanity and if that might be one thing that lead to wondering where the money is going, who's really using it, etc.
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In alt.home.repair, on Sun, 13 Sep 2015 14:39:52 -0500, Unquestionably

No. She's offering 15 dollars a month. He put that at the end somewhere, so I think a lot of people missed it.

Usually, but not forever. If no time peiiod is specified, the court will assume a reasonable time. Like maybe a year. Or maybe less. Then they get to renegotiate.
And his efforts with the salt bags should be considered, as well as that there are 3 people in the other unit..
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On Monday, September 14, 2015 at 3:35:13 AM UTC-4, micky wrote:

I don't think a court would even consider a "reasonable" time period. If there was no time period agreed to, I'd say the contract is good for as long as both parties are OK with it. Say a guy comes to your house selling bottled water. You just agree to take 10 gallons a week, for $10. How long does that bind either party for? I'd say the same thing, as long as both parties are still OK with it.
All these problems are very good reasons why one should never get into this kind of thing to begin with. And if somehow you do, for sure when you're agreeing to something like this, there should be a written, signed contract in place. If I were the OP, I'd have a section in there stating that I was not responsible for water quality, for any service interruption due to power loss, eqpt failure, etc. And it should also spell out who is responsible for paying for the repair and/or replacement of these systems.
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In alt.home.repair, on Mon, 14 Sep 2015 04:40:31 -0700 (PDT), trader_4

This is not the same situation. The water guy can sell water to anyone and many people. The OP is limited to one customer and he has to be the guy who lives next door. And the plan when the house was split was for the guy next door to share water expenses. But it probably won't go to court so we'll never know. You can have the last word.

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wrote:

We will never know not because it won't get to court, but because the OP is withholding information from us. he just wants someone to tell him what he wants to be told, so he is skewing the question and not giving us the facts.
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On Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at 12:49:22 AM UTC-4, micky wrote:

I didn't say they were exactly the same thing, only that there are people here saying that this contract binds the two parties forever, because no time period was specified. And the example I gave is one where similarly no time period was specified, so are the parties there responsible for that contract forever? If the homeowner decides he doesn't like the water after two weeks, does he have to keep taking it?

We presume that's true, but we don't know the actual history or what's in the master deed, etc.
But it probably won't go to

From what I've heard so far, I wouldn't be so sure. Plenty of cases like this wind up in court. He says they are no longer on speaking terms. And contrary to what some people say, I don't see accurately monitoring the actual usage, determining how to split not only the costs of electric, but the fair cost of the existing investment, maintenance, etc. as trivial. It's not trivial from the monitoring eqpt that would be required, nor is it trivial to get parties that are no longer talking to agree on the other numbers that have great variability. Their best bet might be arbitration, if they can agree to that.
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wrote:

shhh! That's a secret. The OP doesn't want to tell us!

Use hour meters. Take a month of data. You know how many hours the sprinklers run, so do some math. There are to be found typical household water usage numbers for one person and a family of three.
There are numbers to be found re how long a water well system will work before needing repairs and replacements. Do a reserve study, like condos all do (some much poorer than others). Build reserves from each party into the monthly cost, and keep track of what is in the reserve account, what is spent from the reserve account. If the reserve runs out of money, collect more from both parties.
That is a start, and not all that hard. This is what will be done, after all the hand wringing and saying it can't be done. It can be done now, or spend more money and go to arbitration and then do it. Or spend even more money and go to court, and THEN do it. Just do it!
And, do the hour meter and math four times a year, to account for seasonal variations. Once you have that done, you only need to re do it if there are significant changed circumstances.
The OP has pissed off his neighbor, and he is not telling us about that. He is pissing me off too.
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On 09/13/2015 01:44 AM, NG wrote:

What happens when your neighbor or one of her guests gets sick from the well water you are effectively selling her?
Are you having the water professionally* tested periodically? (Professionally does not mean the idiot in the orange vest at HD.)
Are you taking any steps to ensure the water is safe?
Do you have business liability insurance to cover your ass?
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excellent points.
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What happens when there is a system problem at 2 in the morning?
Or when you are off on that two week cruise you are finally taking?
Man oh man.
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On 9/13/2015 3:01 PM, taxed and spent wrote:

Both are excellent points and go right back to what I opined earlier. The time for an attorney is BEFORE you act - and that goes to both the OP and the neighbor. Now that you have both pointed out other areas of liability we haven't even discussed, is $50 a month still a bad deal?
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On 09/13/2015 03:47 PM, Juan Abogado wrote:

Wow, hadn't considered that. That changes everything.
The well must be owned by the condo assoc and on it's own official service drop with its own meter. Electric service and other maintenance costs need to be billed to condo assoc. Water meters need to be installed to determine each users share of the bill. Water softener needs to be serviced/maintained by paid third party.
This ditz sure opened up an expensive can of worms!
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In alt.home.repair, on Sun, 13 Sep 2015 05:44:03 +0000, NG

Are you sure she wants it, or would insist on, using the kill-o-wattt, for every month. If I were in her shoes, I'd want some real idea of how much it cost to run the pump, and I'd want to measure each one for a week or two or maybe a month or 2 or 3 momths, but after that, I'd agree on a price and just pay it, Note how much electicity is now per KwH, and if it goes up enough to warrant redoing the arithmetic, raise the price by the same percentage. WRite all this down so if you ever end up in small claims court you'll have a record. After you've gathered data for months, give her two copies and have her sign one and return it to you.

You definitely need to use your litle meter on the pump. Most people have no idea how much their pump is running, and how much more it runs when the lawn is watered. And how much electricity that takes and how much that costs. That's what she wants to know and I don't blame her.
For all she knows, you've been making a 35 dollar profit on her, over 400 dollars a year.
Does the water conditioner system require electricity? It does require chemicals iiuc.
The baseboard heater runs a lot more in the winter than the summer, but the electric company ought to be able to tell you how much it costs to heat a room the size of your pump room. Would the room be heated if there were no pump in it? Do you have other things that are just for you in that room. If yes and yes, than you have to pay more than half of the cost of the heat. If No and No, than split it down the middle.

That takes almost no electricity, right. The timer and the valve transformer. You can put the little Kill-o-Watt meter on that for a a couple weeks, and extrapolate to the whole summer, then either charge more in the summer or average it out for the year.
Just like the cost for the baseboard heater, firguure out how much it costs per season and eiither charge more in the winter or average it out for the whole year.

When she bought her condo she was in a great mood and agreed to whatever, but now she's had time to think and she wonders if she's overpaying. I don't blame her.

Maybe she' having financial problems and the fight is just an excuse to not pay, but I think you should still meter the pump for a month or more, and the sprinkler system for a week or more (assuming its a week that you actually sprinkle.) make detailed notes about start and stop** settings and how you calculate the expense. And when you're done send it to her with a new calculation of what she should pay every month.
It may be that she's overpaid ever since she moved in.
**Does she have access to the pump room. If not***, maybe you should send her a note, a text on the phone seems like a good place to make a record of it, that you're going to be plugging in the kill-o-watt meter at 10AM Sunday if she'd like to watch and you can note the readings together, and every Sunday at 10, you'll write down t he results, if she wants to be there. And say when you'll switch to the sprinkler system, one of thosse sundays at 10, of course. Find a day and time that's convenient for both of you. If she never gets back to you, that will be her failing.
***Even if she has access, that just makes it less necessary for her to be there when you take your readings. She can come an hour later and make her own readings and they should be similar to the ones you take , and write down. Or if she comes a day later, they should be 1/7th of the way between your start and a week later. But this is more calculations and it would be best if you were there together to write everything down. You should do that, and maybe she should too., sort of like counting votes as tallied on the back of mechanical voting machines, all three poll watchers either write down what's there or look on the official originally blank form to see what the other has written.

I don't think she wants that.

She showing you the sort of thing she wants. You can get the same chart for NJ. If you can't find it call the power company and ask them. Or call the property management compnay that the condos use. They probably manage more than one property and even if they don't, they might have this or they'll go find it. That's part of their job, although they may want to charge extra!!

So she's offered 15. So that makes the chance that she's in financial problems much less. 15 might be right. How do you know it's not?

I haven't read the other replies, but I'll bet they'll say it costs barely any elecricity to run the sprinkler system, and the only thing that does cost is running the pump.

Are you crazy?

And you'd have to pay the other half.
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