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Thread: high water bill due to irrigation leak - landlord demands payment from me

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    high water bill due to irrigation leak - landlord demands payment from me

    hi all

    please help me someone. I have recently moved in a property and the 1st bill was R1173.00 for the 1st bill it was for 14 days. the next bill came thorough and the owner advised there was an error and she will send off a revised bill she later sent a bill for 27 oct 2016-14 dec 2016 R6022. we paid this.
    on the 4th of Jan 2017 she called me with a R15000 bill which she change to R22000 in days. since this was the second bill we realised there is a water leak.
    we tried a meter test in the day and nothing moved. we tried the test at night and lost 1000L of water at night. when we sent her proof she called the leak detectors and they found the irrigation to have leaks . the put a block on the pipes.

    we though all was sorted then a few days ago we found large paddles everywhere. we called her again and she sent plumbers who have been working here from Sunday 12th Jan 2017 - 15th Jan 2017 fixing the leak. she now demands we pay for this water loss !!!

    what do I do??? I am only living here for 4 months. when I asked when last the irrigation was checked I get NO REPLY.

    HELP ............. I am new to the western province and don't know tenants rights well..

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    If u don't own the property u are not responsible for a leak that may have been caused due to natural circumstances . Unless u put the irrigation system in ??

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    OUCH!

    This is always a very awkward and frustrating thing to happen in a landlord/tenant situation.

    Water loss was due to the landlords poor infrastructure and you never consumed the water therefore waterbill is for the landlords account. I'm not sure what the law says about this, I'm just applying common sense.

    And that was a bit cheeky of her to expect you to pay.

    Also the landlord should've known there was a leak the moment you got that R6022 (even R1173 is high for 14 days) bill since nobody consumes that much water. So this water loss could've been curtailed if handled sooner.

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    Silver Member PlatinumWealth.co.za's Avatar
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    I would advise you to go to the Rental Tribunal immediately something sounds very fishy here.
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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    There is an irrigation system involved?
    A R6000 water bill for 14 days consumption was considered acceptable?
    Just what sort of property are we talking about here?

    Regardless, like the others I'm inclined to think if the infrastructure is in faulty condition and this was't disclosed to you upfront and incorporated into the terms of the rental agreement, I'm inclined to think all repairs and the consequential costs should reasonably be for the account of the landlord.
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    Silver Member PlatinumWealth.co.za's Avatar
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    What happened in the end OP?
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    hi Dave

    I have got the tribunal involved but due to their current backlog I have not been assisted yet - so the issue remains in limbo.
    today I receive the following email from the landlord:
    Just to let you know we are following up on the possible rebate from the City.

    To date we have not charged any utilities for the month of the first leak; deducted any amounts from your deposit as yet; or charged an extra-ordinary amounts for the second leak.

    We have however explained that it is your responsibility to monitor your daily water usage and notify us immediately should you ascertain any movement when not using water. It is then our responsibility to fix any leaks reported to us timeously. This we have done. Should the City elect not offer a rebate, you will be required to reimburse us for the payment of the water bills.

    Once again I re-iterate it is your responsibility to monitor your usage daily to ensure no excessive bills are run up.
    How can this be possible. I must rebate her for her poor infrastructure? I need to check the meters daily? is this common sense?

    please HELP.

    Mrs N

    Someone please help as this is stressing me and I afraid she will withhold my deposit.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    To date we have not charged any utilities for the month of the first leak; deducted any amounts from your deposit as yet; or charged an extra-ordinary amounts for the second leak.

    We have however explained that it is your responsibility to monitor your daily water usage and notify us immediately should you ascertain any movement when not using water. It is then our responsibility to fix any leaks reported to us timeously.
    I'm inclined to view that response as fairly encouraging. The implied meaning would seem to be they only intend to hold you accountable for water losses after the date this responsibility was "explained" to you, and even then only if you don't check the water consumption daily to monitor for leaks.

    At first glance, that does not seem overly unreasonable given the history.
    Unless there is some particular reason why this is a problematic chore...
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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