W.J. from Tolland County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
My mom died in her condo a couple months ago. According to the condo association, she had a running toilet for some time and incurred a large water bill. Do we have to pay this?
Mister Condo replies:
W.J., I am sorry for your loss. If the water to the condo unit was provided by the association (not uncommon) and if the association has rules in place about overuse of water by unit owners having to pay back the association (not common), you might be liable. How can the association document the exact amount of overuse caused by the leaky toilet? How do they know the extra water expense wasn’t caused by another unit owner leaving a faucet turned on for a long period of time? The bottom line is that it really depends on the dollar amount of damages they are seeking. If this is a small water bill (under $100), I think I would pay it out of courtesy to the association. However, if they are seeking a larger dollar amount, you might want to fight it or deny paying it as they don’t have the necessary rules or documentation to place the expense on your mother’s unit. You could always offer a compromise amount as well. If they are looking for $100, offer $50 as a show of good faith. Look for a win/win. Good luck!