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Old 06-02-2015, 09:25 AM
Location: Pasadena, CA
363 posts, read 437,887 times
Reputation: 405


My mother owns an apartment building and includes the price of water and sewer in the rent. Back in the day when we could actually water our lawns, she worried that the tenants wouldn't run the sprinklers because they wouldn't want to pay the utility bills.

Four of us live in an 1,800 sq. ft house with a pool, and we hand-water our landscaping. Our water bill comes to ~ $86 per month. That's probably not an apples-to-apples comparison, but maybe it will help.
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Old 08-27-2015, 09:38 PM
927 posts, read 851,390 times
Reputation: 665
When I rented in L.A. I never encountered anything like this. Water was always included in the rent, but not separately itemized; I think it was the same for trash collection. All other utilities were paid individually in the same way as with homeowners.

A little over a year ago we moved to San Diego, and we now pay a separate water bill in addition to all the other usual utilities. The difference, though, is that water payments go to a third-party biller which exists to process water bill payments for just the one property management company that oversees the complex we live in. Cursory Google searches have indicated that this is one person processing paper checks in an extremely dilatory fashion. There is no email address. There is no website. But if you initiate a bank bill payment (resulting in a paper check, of course), the check may well still not have cleared ten days after being mailed by the bank, and you may get a delinquency notice. Because this separate water payment is, in effect, going to the landlord, you can be threatened with eviction if you are late with your water payment. But if it's weeks after you sent the payment and they still haven't processed it, it's your own damn fault. I'm not surprised to have learned just now that my state legislators are both conservative Republicans, one belonging to the Adam Smith Institute and the other having served as the California state chapter head of ALEC.

ETA: While it's hard to get average figures for comparison, I think our monthly water bill is probably reasonable, more or less. However, I strongly object to the middleman, and to the entire arrangement on principle.

Last edited by Those Who Squirm; 08-27-2015 at 10:33 PM..
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Old 08-27-2015, 10:21 PM
927 posts, read 851,390 times
Reputation: 665
Originally Posted by G-Ray View Post
Last month they sent someone around to change all the showers and sinks to extremely low-flow fixtures. It's difficult to wash one's hair in the shower - the flow is that slow! If the bill isn't reduced by at least 40-50 percent I will know that they are profiting from this scam.
When you have to run the water several times as long to wash up a roasting pan, not to mention the time you have to wait for the hot water, I wonder how much if any water is actually saved.
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