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Old 01-08-2013, 06:32 PM
 
8,478 posts, read 14,526,332 times
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As a tenant, the water bill is in my name. My landlord decided to have some cosmetic work done on the pool and had it drained. I was given no notice. Do I have any grounds to have him pay the water bill? I estimate the cost to fill it will be around $150. For my needs, the pool was functioning just fine. In addition, the pumps plugged into my house have been running during the day, during my on-peak power time, which will impact the electricity bill. Am I being petty or does he owe me? Thanks.

Last edited by DetroitN8V; 01-08-2013 at 07:05 PM..
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:51 PM
 
1,482 posts, read 2,100,318 times
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From my experience - this will likely vary from city to city - whoever's name is on the water bill account is responsible. At least in the city's eyes... if the landlord is to pay it would be up to you guys to work it out. You could ask them. Now, I don't know about the law but at my city we don't care who pays it, and if it ends up not being paid whoever is the primary name on the acct is who the city sees as responsible for the bill.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Rural Michigan
6,333 posts, read 13,176,431 times
Reputation: 10475
Legally, youre firmly on the hook.. morally.. not so much..

Personally, i wouldnt jump into anger until i had a bill in my hand.. winter water & electricity are much cheaper than summer bills.

What is $150 in relation to your rent? If you're paying, say $18,000 per year in rent (Just a guess ) is $150 really that big of a deal?

As a landlord, id probably take care of it - its not worth arguing over dimes when there are dollars on the table..
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:44 PM
 
Location: Sonoran Desert
35,270 posts, read 45,368,808 times
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Depending on where you live the bill could go on and on. In some of the cities, the sewer fees are based on water that you use in Jan-Mar. A big thing like the pool could spike your sewer for the rest of the year. They will adjust the bill for you but you have to appeal it and provide evidence that you drained and refilled the pool, which in my case, was the pump rental receipt. You may need to get a copy of that from your landlord.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:08 PM
 
654 posts, read 1,379,263 times
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Appeal your sewer rate as mentioned and be thankful he reno-ed the pool in January not July.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:03 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
2,130 posts, read 4,622,952 times
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I don't know how big your pool is, but I think your estimate is high. I have drained my pool several times, about 16,000 gals, and it only cost about $45 to refill. Remember only the water usage part of your bill should increase. I would check with the city to get a better estimate. You may be making too big a deal.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:05 PM
 
1,482 posts, read 2,100,318 times
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Good point about the sewer fees that Ponderosa mentioned! Definitely check on that.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Arizona
6,011 posts, read 7,154,167 times
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While you'd be held responsible for paying the water bill, I personally think the landlord should reimburse you. It should be pretty easy to determine the difference in the bills between your average use and what the bill is the month he re-filled the pool. I don't think you're being petty at all. If you did something that cost the landlord $150, would he just let it go?

With that said, if you otherwise have a good relationship with the landlord and he balks at the water bill, you may want to consider if $150 is worth the bad blood it might generate.

I had a similar situation with my current landlord...before we moved into the house, but after I moved the water bill into my name, the irrigation system failed and the lawn died. This was noted at the walk-through and the landlord had stated he was repairing the system and would cover any costs of repairing the lawn. We were shocked when our first full month water bill was over $600 from all the irrigation they did before we moved in. I politely asked him about it and he agreed to give us a rent credit for the difference between that bill and our following month's bill. Our relationship with this landlord has been excellent, and had he refused to cover that bill (which frankly would have surprised me) I probably would not have pushed it.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Arizona
6,011 posts, read 7,154,167 times
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You also mentioned you were given no notice. That's just plain wrong, the landlord cant just come on the property whenever he feels like it. You have the right of quiet enjoyment of the rented premises. The reasons the landlord or his agents can enter upon the property are limited and should be specified in your lease. Making cosmetic improvements should not be done without your agreement.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Phoenix,az
391 posts, read 772,134 times
Reputation: 322
I would highly recommend looking up Arizona renter laws. Technically if the landlord did not give you any notice, file it will the state, if he or she does it again, you can get the police involved to remove the person. Just sayin'
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