Leaking toilet

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I know a couple who recently got a $1600 water bill for one of the properties they own. Here in Milwaukee the water is cheap enough that land lords often just include it in the rent.
Due to sewage and lead pipe replacement charges it's gone from maybe $25 a month (many years ago) to $60 and is billed quarterly. My last bill was $175.
When one of the owners investigated it seemed the tenant had a leaking toilet and never bother to inform the land lord! Still the $1600 bill seemed very high. I guess the toilet was running pretty fast but ...wow.
Hopefully they kicked the tenant out and and did not refund the security deposit...but is there any recourse for them?
My guess is "no" but had the utility billed once a month like all companies do...the problem would have been caught a lot sooner.
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On 10/9/2016 5:17 AM, philo wrote:

In California where the politicians refuse to spend any money on added water capacity and the environuts seem to think we can save water by decreasing our consumption to zero, water bills often have tiered rates. If you use a thimble of water per day the rate is reasonable, if you use a cup a day you get knocked to a higher rate. There are often several tiers.
When this sort of thing has happened as a one time occurrence, the water companies will review your request for a bill reduction and bill you for all your water use in the lowest tier. You are still ;paying for all your water, but not at the higher tier rates.
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On 10/9/2016 7:51 AM, Taxed and Spent wrote:

<snip>

I doubt things here in Wisconsin are the same but I told them to talk to a supervisor at the water utility
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On 10/09/2016 12:17 PM, philo wrote:

Was there a maximum water usage clause in the rental agreement?
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On 10/9/2016 7:54 AM, HeyBob wrote:

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On Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 8:17:53 AM UTC-4, philo wrote:

The water bill for this "toilet leak" incident was probably insignificant compared to rest of the cost:
A young couple bought the house across the street from mine. They stayed in their apartment while they did some renovations. On the Thursday before Labor Day the bathroom contractor installed a new toilet in the upstairs bathroom. They locked up the house and left town for the long weekend.
Nobody knows exactly when the fill hose popped off the bottom of the toilet, but when they stopped by the house on Monday afternoon, the water was running out the back door. Parts of the hardwood floors on the first and second floors had to be replaced, all the kitchen cabinets (less than 4 years old) had to be replaced, drywall and insulation R&R, the list goes on and on. Pumps for the water in the basement, dehumidifier rentals, etc.
To add insult to injury, the lease was up on their apartment so they had to move. They ended up in Mom's basement...not the ideal situation for a young couple but much cheaper than a month-to-month rental.
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On 10/09/2016 08:27 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

Oh my!!!
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On 10/9/2016 8:17 AM, philo wrote:

Had a similar situation at work. Twice. We have about 22 toilets around the plant and one was running. I found it out by monthly meter readings. It was in a little used bathroom and not making any noise.
My guess is the landlord is SOL.
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On 10/9/2016 6:30 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

depends on what the lease says.
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On 10/09/2016 08:47 AM, Taxed and Spent wrote:

I am quite sure the lease did not cover this situation.
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On 10/9/2016 11:44 AM, philo wrote:

What makes you say that?
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On 10/09/2016 04:33 PM, Taxed and Spent wrote:

Because the owner stated she was going to have to pay the bill
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On 10/09/2016 08:30 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

You are probably right, guess they have learned a lesson.
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That toilet must have been running full force around the clock. Even then that seems like an excessive bill. That meter should be checked for accuracy.
That tenant must be a total idiot to leave a toilet running that much. Almost a total moron should be able to replace a $2 toilet flapper.
Do they still have lead pipes around there? I thought those were all gone by the end of the 20th century, if not a lot sooner.....
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On Sunday, October 9, 2016 at 4:17:57 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

Renter's don't typically repair the landlord's plumbing. I've seen leases where it was stated that the tenants were not allowed to "make any changes, including repairs".
Should they have told the landlord? Sure...but if they aren't paying for water, maybe they just didn't care or even realize the cost. If they've always been renters, and water has always been included, they could be ignorant of the cost. That doesn't make them ignorant.

I guess you never heard of Flint.
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On 10/09/2016 04:19 PM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

<snip>
Back in my day when My friends and I rented it never occurred to us to ask the land lord as we knew it would probably never get done...or if so it would probably raise the rent...so we did our own repairs. Though we were a bunch of drunken low-lifes we would have fixed a leaking toilet
In those days we were pretty wild and left the apartments in bad shape ...so we never bothered to ask for our security deposit either.
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Shame on you ! <LOL>
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On 10/09/2016 02:14 PM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

<snip>

Hopefully the owner will kick the tenant out, not refund the security deposit and make the tenant is responsible for all utilities.
Yes. Milwaukee still has lead pipes.
After the situation in Flint...the city rapidly started replacing lead "mains" but still there are thousands of "main to house" lead pipes.
Since I have lead pipes here I had the water tested 35 years ago when I moved in. First they had me use no water at all for 12 hours. Once they had a sample they had me "run 'til cold" and test again.
They found a small trace of lead in the standing water but none in the "run to cold" test.
Since for my job I worked with lead-acid batteries the company had my blood tested twice a year. The lead content was essentially zero.
As a precaution though I have a filter on the kitchen sink.
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I am no fanatic when it comes to a lot of these things that are said to be dangerous, but I think I'd get those lead pipes replaced. At the same time, I know it can be costly if they have to dig up from the house to the water main, and replace the pipes.
By the way, does anyone know what kind of pipe they use these days to go from the water main to a house? Back in the 60's I know they were using copper, but that could be real costly these days. I assume they are using some sort of poly (plastic) these days.
I'm curious, what year was your house built to have lead pipes? I know they have not used lead pipes for a real long time.
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On 10/10/2016 10:58 AM, snipped-for-privacy@unlisted.moo wrote:

In some areas some unions had such political clout they continued using lead pipes far longer than everywhere else, by code.
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