Extra water cost liability

Question from Katie updated on 23rd September 2016:

Usually our water bills are between $70-$120 per month. We had a toilet that was continuously running and I reported this to my landlord. I specified in my email that I was worried about this affecting water bills. It took over a month and some more emails until this was fixed. We have just received a bill for $400. $270 of it is wastewater. Who is liable for this?

Our expert Bernard Parker responded:

It sounds like the excess water rates are due to the toilet cistern problem. You are required to pay for your water usage, but you shouldn’t be required to pay for water wastage if the extra costs are caused by the landlord’s slowness in fixing a toilet cistern. I suggest you average your previous water charges invoices and see what a normal usage is over the billing period, and offer that amount to the landlord. If he is wise, he will accept that amount and avoid a dispute.

Bernard is principal of Quinovic – Kapiti-Mana. Quinovic's outstanding people and systems provide the most professional, effective and reliable residential property management service in the NZ market for over 30 years.

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