Landlord hiding fees in water and sewage

7 Replies

So my landlords sent a notice to everyone that is on a month to month lease that their rent will be going up by 100$ per month. However being I am on a 1 year lease at an agreed price I should be exempt from this raise. 

Onto my main point now, my water bill and sewage bill is a constant rate that changes every 6 months. I am 3 months into my current 6 month period for water and sewage and I noticed that my water bill went up exactly 50$ and my sewage bill went up exactly 50$ so obviously they are hiding a rent hike in my Bill's. They also dont include usage on the bill they just give a dollar amount. 

What can I do about this? It's really sketchy.

@Jacob Bowman how is your water/ sewer metered, if it is metered by the water company you may be able to give them a call, even ask for your usage data because now "you are trying to conserve"  It does seem incredibly suspicious, but you also need to know how your water/ sewer is ordinarily billed to make a determination, is it actually based on your usage or does the landlord take the bill for the entire building and divide by the number of units.  If it is the latter usage may well have gone up for the whole building with kids home from school and people home from work.

@Jacob Bowman your lease terms can’t change mid-lease. Yo my know that because of the rent increase. What does your lease say about water and sewer? Does it say they can charge you anything they want?

Originally posted by @Mike McCarthy :

@Jacob Bowman your lease terms can’t change mid-lease. Yo my know that because of the rent increase. What does your lease say about water and sewer? Does it say they can charge you anything they want?

The lease states that it is divided amongst the whole park by usage. However I dont see how there was such a dramatic increase in water and sewage without something fishy happening in the background. Doesnt make a lot of sense seeing that my family pays in 3 months what I'm being charged in 1 month out of nowhere. Can I ask to see the actual numbers? And there has not been many extra people moving into the park either

 

@Jacob Bowman it could indicate a couple of things if usage is divided equally.

1. People and their kids who are no longer at work/school are using more water at home now than ever before

2. There is a leak somewhere that needs fixing

3. Your landlord is being shady

I'd ask to see the usage whether that is from the landlord or elsewhere.

Hey Jacob,

If the water & sewage is master-metered / community sewer-lined, then your $50/$50 increase will also be reflected on your neighbors' bills. Start knocking on doors, explain your situation, and ask to compare your bills.

If they've also seen the same increase, the situation is purely circumstantial. However, if your bills aren't matching, there's something going on and you will need to decide what to do next.

Good luck.

Originally posted by @Jacob Bowman :
Originally posted by @Mike McCarthy:

@Jacob Bowman your lease terms can’t change mid-lease. Yo my know that because of the rent increase. What does your lease say about water and sewer? Does it say they can charge you anything they want?

The lease states that it is divided amongst the whole park by usage. However I dont see how there was such a dramatic increase in water and sewage without something fishy happening in the background. Doesnt make a lot of sense seeing that my family pays in 3 months what I'm being charged in 1 month out of nowhere. Can I ask to see the actual numbers? And there has not been many extra people moving into the park either

 

Mike is right, they can't change things mid lease.  Ask the other tenants if their bills went up.

 

While there could be an increase, I too can’t see how it could possibly be $100 per unit. I would ask for a copy of the water/sewer statement and how they came to the numbers. 
I charge my tenants actual usage (easier since they are mostly individually metered), but I’d have no problem providing the city’s bills as backup. If they are being true to your lease, they shouldn’t either.