Why are you assuming my advice on the utility company reaction isn't
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
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
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
Personally, I'd be thanking the landlord for having a sump pump that
was in place and working.
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.
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
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?
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.
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
On 12 Jul 2006 11:10:05 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
On 12 Jul 2006 07:41:31 -0700, email@example.com 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.
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.
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
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
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.
On 12 Jul 2006 07:41:31 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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