U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-06-2018, 12:00 PM
 
6,359 posts, read 7,321,320 times
Reputation: 10807

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by forzalugano View Post
Put the water bill in a the name of a separate LLC in the future, kind of ridiculous they city will not allow tenants to put water in their name.
It doesn't matter who is named on the bill if the water authority can place a lien on the house for any past-due bills. Around here, a lien can be placed on the house being serviced and they can take the house through regular tax foreclosure procedures if the bill isn't paid.

Consider the plight of those living in Flint who were forced to pay for lead-contaminated water--or lose their house.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7716311.html
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-09-2018, 09:57 PM
 
3,261 posts, read 1,941,217 times
Reputation: 6243
Man, that NB Water Dept. sounds like a hot mess:

https://patch.com/new-jersey/newbrun...ewspaper-video

Water Utility Workers Indicted For Taking Bribes to Lower Bills | New Brunswick Today

Anyway, I was going to suggest contacting Karen Price Mueller at nj.com. She writes the "Bamboozled" column, which deals with all sorts of consumer, billing, etc. complaints. Her contact info on the website is: bamboozled@njadvancemedia.com

Good luck to you!
A fellow New Jerseyan
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-09-2018, 10:50 PM
 
16,476 posts, read 17,501,756 times
Reputation: 23521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Informed Info View Post
Got the bill two weeks ago. $8117.00. HAS to be a mistake, right? Called the city, said they'd send out a human to read the meter (it's a "smart water meter"). Meter was read yesterday, found out today that the reading was correct.

The supervisor at the city water co. feels that the meter did not malfunction because between the initial reading and yesterday, it read that about 20 units of water had been used so far. Normal usage for this property.

We're asking that the meter be replaced and the current one be tested (it was offered).

I called our lawyer immediately. He told me that we're basically screwed & will have to pay the bill in full (above and beyond the average water bill). Not worth losing in court & having to pay him for his time as well. Judges side with tenants & a judge will see a bunch of "poor college kids" vs. landlord. PLUS we'd have to prove that OUR "equipment" wasn't faulty, and that is nearly impossible to do.

Nothing is leaking, no one has complained about a running toilet, etc. The outside spigot is off & doesn't have a handle on it. My husband had been in the building more than several times during the billing period (ended in January) and performed his end of the year individual unit inspection, of which there are four, in December. Saw nothing out of the ordinary, heard nothing out of the ordinary (such as running water).

To top it off, the building was basically empty for an entire month of the billing period due to the fact all of the tenants are students & went home for winter break.

Has anyone dealt with this issue before?
I would fight that bill. Especially if you have had no leaks and no tenants living there. You can have the system pressure tested by a plumber and tell him you need a written test report. He will shut off water drain system and pressure test it. You can also call him to verbally state the system is not leaking.
I would go to court. There is no way I would pay that bill. Especially if your average bill is month over month about the same and all of the sudden it goes to 8,0000 bucks
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2018, 06:11 AM
 
7,843 posts, read 11,137,853 times
Reputation: 10079
I subscribe to a facebook feed for news from a different area. This area had a lot of new smart meters put in for electricity. People's bills have double and tripled for no reason other than Consumers Energy blaming it on the weather. The weather hasn't been extra cold this winter, the great lakes didn't freeze more or less than any other winter. People are freaking out, people on electric heat in northern michigan are getting huge heating bills. The one common denominator: new
smart meters.

One town one article

http://www.wnem.com/story/37386848/c...s-energy-bills
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2018, 05:32 PM
 
8,224 posts, read 7,157,784 times
Reputation: 7742
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriNJ View Post
Man, that NB Water Dept. sounds like a hot mess:

https://patch.com/new-jersey/newbrun...ewspaper-video

Water Utility Workers Indicted For Taking Bribes to Lower Bills | New Brunswick Today

Anyway, I was going to suggest contacting Karen Price Mueller at nj.com. She writes the "Bamboozled" column, which deals with all sorts of consumer, billing, etc. complaints. Her contact info on the website is: bamboozled@njadvancemedia.com

Good luck to you!
A fellow New Jerseyan
LOL! You aren't kidding.

To add to that fact we have been told that almost everyone is "new" in the dept, so no one really knows what they are doing. Don't know how true that is, but seems believable.

I actually sent a general email to NJ.com & a reporter from the Star Ledger contacted us a few days later. She said she is going to contact the water utility department & the Mayor's office & would also watch the video of the city council meeting that we were going to go to this past Wednesday (and speak at/complain about the bill), but it was canceled due to the storm. It was rescheduled for this Tues. the 13th. We will see how it goes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2018, 05:49 PM
 
8,224 posts, read 7,157,784 times
Reputation: 7742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrician4you View Post
I would fight that bill. Especially if you have had no leaks and no tenants living there. You can have the system pressure tested by a plumber and tell him you need a written test report. He will shut off water drain system and pressure test it. You can also call him to verbally state the system is not leaking.
I would go to court. There is no way I would pay that bill. Especially if your average bill is month over month about the same and all of the sudden it goes to 8,0000 bucks
Our plumber couldn't get to us the day he was supposed to this week & due to the nor'easter we had, so he rescheduled for the end of next week.

The thing is that when we called to have the meter physically read a few weeks ago, after receiving the $8K bill, it was reading "normal" usage. If we had a leak it should still be showing high usage, you'd think, right?

The friend of ours who had the $5K bill had his property checked by a plumber for leaks, there were none.

We're definitely going to fight it!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2018, 05:59 PM
 
8,224 posts, read 7,157,784 times
Reputation: 7742
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
I subscribe to a facebook feed for news from a different area. This area had a lot of new smart meters put in for electricity. People's bills have double and tripled for no reason other than Consumers Energy blaming it on the weather. The weather hasn't been extra cold this winter, the great lakes didn't freeze more or less than any other winter. People are freaking out, people on electric heat in northern michigan are getting huge heating bills. The one common denominator: new
smart meters.

One town one article

Customers frustrated with high Consumers Energy bills - WNEM TV 5
Wow!!!

Unfortunately, the more we have been learning, these outrageous water bills may not be due to the smart meters. Seems to be more like a money-grab by the city & focused on landlords, which the city is chock-full of...and the city doesn't allow water bills to be in a tenant's name. Has to be in the name of the property owner.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2018, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Georgia, USA
21,476 posts, read 26,078,274 times
Reputation: 26426
Another suburb reports problems with digital water meters - Chicago Tribune
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2018, 07:55 PM
 
8,224 posts, read 7,157,784 times
Reputation: 7742
Yes! That is one of the first articles I found when researched smart meters & their issues.

What we have since found out, however, & after speaking with our friend & his lawyer/friend a little more in depth, is that they don't have smart meters on their properties. The 3rd person (who we also personally know) does. His bill was nowhere near as high as ours, but for a small rental property with an average of $200/$225 a quarter & for over a decade? A $2800 quarterly bill is a huge increase. Not $5K or $8K, but significant enough.

We also found out that our smart meter was a 2013 model that was installed on our property in 2017. Yet the testing of the meter showed that not only was it working just fine & dandy, it wasn't working as well as it should have, so we were UNDERCHARGED for that billing cycle.

At this point we aren't sure if it's a smart meter issue or a city that is intentionally screwing over it's property owners. A money-grab that property owners haven't been able to fight or prove up to this point. All seem to be landlord/rental properties so far, but those folks are the only ones who we know.

Which is a little coincidental, if you ask me.

How can we only know 3 others in this city and all 3 have also had out of control water bills?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-10-2018, 09:46 PM
 
16,476 posts, read 17,501,756 times
Reputation: 23521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Informed Info View Post
Our plumber couldn't get to us the day he was supposed to this week & due to the nor'easter we had, so he rescheduled for the end of next week.

The thing is that when we called to have the meter physically read a few weeks ago, after receiving the $8K bill, it was reading "normal" usage. If we had a leak it should still be showing high usage, you'd think, right?

The friend of ours who had the $5K bill had his property checked by a plumber for leaks, there were none.

We're definitely going to fight it!
I’d fight it too. If i can prove a year over year month over month a average bill of 120 bucks and all of the sudden the bill was 8,000 I would be paying the average bill so the water won’t get shut off and carry the balance forward while I’m going to go to court.
Just because they send a bill stating you owe them that much doesn’t mean you actually do. Especially if the smart meters are known to be problematic. Screw them and their smart meter. I would let a judge decide.
I would go to court and would demand
1. The factory calibration for THAT meter
2. How many times is the meter calibrated after installation..
3. Bring proof if you have of the model of meter that has a record of erroneous readings.
4. Tell them you want a new calibrated meter to be installed
5. How many smart meters have been replaced since they switched to those meters.
None of these things are unreasonable. They need to prove that their equipment is working with no faults. If there is any doubt of the meter performance it should be brought up. If the meter malfunctioned it’s not your problem.



You can check yourself if the line is leaking. Close all the faucets, hose bibs in the house. Your meter should not be counting any water movement. If there is water movement on the counter
Do this
Go to the main shut off supply to the house. Turn it off. See if there is any more movement.
If there is you have a leak between the stree5 shutoff and main supply. If the movement stops you have a leak in the house.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Real Estate
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top