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Old 12-27-2014, 02:34 AM   #1
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Hooray for landlords

Just a whinging thread here. After a long running dispute about a water bill i've been given the ultimatum to get rid of my tanks or find new premises.

For a few months i have been involved in a dispute with my landlord about a big water bill they incurred because they failed to have a badly leaking hot water service fixed. My neighbours told me about the leak when i told them the real estate had charged me $1250 for a 3 month water bill. The entire bill for the 4 units i live in was $1400. I knew i was not entitled to pay the bill because the 4 units which my house is in are using a communal water main so bills are charged to the body corporate. They said my tanks were the cause of this massive bill.

The laws in question state that without being able to measure water use in individual premises that it isn't fair to charge any tenant for the water. When i told them this they eventually reduced what they wanted me to pay to $1000. I still didn't pay it because i knew the leakage next door was to blame and that the real estate had let it go for more than a month. If they had tried to charge me an amount that reflected what i use in my tanks i would have been compliant. I am conservative with my water. What i take from my tanks during WC (60-70L/week) waters my garden (4 outdoor pot plants) or is used to flush the toilet.

So to compare bills to this $1400 one my landlord received. My sister averages $200 for three months during the winter and about $210-$250 in summer when she runs the sprinkler for an hour a day. She has a family of four and usually has two people home there all day. I am single and work full time so i'm only home on weekends. The units i live in have 7 tenants in total.

Anyway it took a while before they backed down and said the owner was going to "allow" me to skip paying this bill. I guess once it was clear i would not be intimidated into paying a bill they could not legally enforce they decided to spite me. On Christmas eve i received a letter from the real estate saying that i am no longer allowed to keep fish. If i have aquariums in my house at the next inspection i will get a breach notice. I have to dig through some boxes to find my lease but i'm sure i listed fish during the application process. If i have i will shove that in their faces and take my time finding a new place. If not i'll be moving out pretty soon. Planted aquariums are my obsession these days so i'll not let this little setback take my hobby away from me.

I spent a fair portion of boxing day searching for legal loopholes. Up until 2011 fish were not classed as pets and i would have been able to use this loophole to keep my premises and pets. They altered the law though. So if i am not able to keep my pets here i am feeling pretty spiteful towards the owners.

Anyone else been in a similar situation? I was thinking a letter to the owners explaining my my water use and the fact that the real estate agents contributed to the bill by failing to repair a bad leak were probably more likely to blame for the bill might help.
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:00 AM   #2
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Hi Alan,
Sorry to hear about your situation. I am not familiar with the laws in your area, so I'm not sure how to respond. Typically you would need the agreement to the pet explicitly stated on the lease. If you have any lawyer or realtor friends, run it by them and see what they say. Trying to prove negligence of the board or owners in a matter they did not address is a rocky road. Good luck!
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:42 AM   #3
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Looks like you should consider looking for a new place to live as well. Sorry to hear about your troubles there.
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Old 12-27-2014, 10:53 AM   #4
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Man... that's a tough one Alan, i agree with Jett here.. sinister forces at work and I'd be on down the road, tanks in hand..good luck!

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Old 12-27-2014, 06:38 PM   #5
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If they changed the law "after" your contract you may have recourse, as egg said, run your contract past a solicitor........
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:40 PM   #6
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anything over $45.00 for 3 months is insane
have a independent plumber place a temporary meters on the water line
once you can show it's not your liability you are entitled to be reimburse for any costs incurred
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:51 PM   #7
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That sounds awful! Even if they let you keep the tanks I would consider moving as its obvious you are dealing with shady landlords. They have problems and are blaming others instead of just correcting the issues in the building. Any time you are getting bullied, its time to move..........no questions, life is too short for that crap.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:29 AM   #8
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I'm putting together a new bond at the moment. Christmas has decimated my finances but i'll be finding somewhere new in a couple of weeks when i have the cash in hand to move

I just hate the effort involved. Packing my life into boxes is a pet hate.
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