High water bill due to toilet flush leakage

15 Replies

I am in New Jersey. I received a super high water bill ($3800) which is way higher than my usual bill ($800). Upon checking I found out that my tenant had a leaking flush tank in one of their toilets which they never told me about. Am I responsible for this bill or the tenant? Also if you are answering this, please quote a legal reference if you can. 

Hi, Umair. Welcome to BP, and I'm sorry that this happened to you. Could you prove that the tenant knew about the leaking flush tank and how long they knew about it? And could you tie the bill specifically back to that toilet? I don't have any legal sources to cite, but it seems like even if it is technically the tenant's responsibility, you'd have a difficult time tying it back to them and getting them to cover the bill.

I am not sure how long this has been going on but I checked the water meter and it was rolling like an F1 race car. As soon as I turned the water supply to the toilet off, the meter stopped. It’s their toilet, they use it, they must have seen/heard it. They should have told me. 

I think you can call the water department and have them audit the bill. I’m pretty sure a lawyer can give you the legal side of this. Do you have quarterly inspections in your lease to keep the tenants focused on the conditions of their units ?

@Umair Khalid

Just implement it the next time you update the lease, and state if there is a repair or issue that wasn’t recorded at the inspection and occurs in between your next inspection date and you weren’t notified it’ll cover you and possibly be determined as negligence.

@Umair Khalid

If you are paying the water bill, the tenant has no end to tell you anything about a keaky toilet.

It's the same if you provide heat and A/C, a broken window or doors not closed all the way mean nothing!

Seems to me that cost should lead you to ensure water use is better monitored.

You will find the same issue if you have a house with a pool. The same issue if you pay for water and the sprinklers are hooked to the city water line.

The fix, is ensuring the tenant pays for water!

And the water company didn't even day thankyou, did they?

You can make excuses and play the blame game, but you will pay until the bill changes.

@Umair Khalid

Call your water company and have them come out. It i would talk to a lawyer first to make sure you can speak effectively to the water company and then to the tenant and revise the lease to support yourself in situations like these.

@Umair Khalid does your lease state that the tenant is responsible for excess water bills due to unreported leaks? What time period does the lease give tenants to report? What proof do you have showing when they first became aware of the leak? Have all these details if you are talking to an attorney.

Call the water company and tell them that you found out there was a leaking toilet that was causing the high water usage. The water company might be able to adjust the bill amount one time if they have proof of a water leak (ex: repair bill from plumber, etc).