H.H. from Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a condo building where there is one owner of the whole building. Water is included. Recently, he said I was using a lot of water (because neighbor said she heard my shower) and if it continues he will charge me extra. There is only one meter for the whole building so how would he decide the extra cost? Is this legal?
Mister Condo replies:
H.H., I am sorry for your water, neighbor, and landlord issues. My first question is regarding any documents you have that show that water is included in your lease. If so, I doubt that your landlord can simply assess you the cost of any “extra” water you are using because he has no grounds to do so. That being said, if you do not have a lease or other legally binding agreement protecting you from extra costs being assigned to you, you may have a battle on your hands. At the end of the day, it will simply come down to any legal agreement you have between yourself and the landlord that encompasses who pays for the water. If it is included and not limited, I don’t see where he can assess you a penny for any “extra” water that you use. With only one meter for the building, any “assessment” would be based on a guess. You can imagine how well that would stand up in court if the matter ever went that far. Good luck!