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Very high utilities!

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Very high utilities!

Postby JingoFresh » Mon Apr 28, 2014 11:13 am

I pay for water, which I am fine with and agreed to but this time the water bills is almost 5 times as much as it has been previously. I am reluctant to pay this without knowing why the amount increased so much.

The sewer cost on the water bill is what has more than doubled.

I'm not sure what I can do since my lease says I have to pay the water bill divided between all units, but this is very suspicious to me.
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Re: Very high utilities!

Postby JingoFresh » Mon Apr 28, 2014 4:37 pm

Does the sewer portion of a utility bill count as a utility in NY?
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Re: Very high utilities!

Postby JingoFresh » Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:52 am

I can't talk to the water company and if my property management company won't open an investigation, I'm not sure what I could do aside from take legal action.

Is there any other alternative, perhaps a government complaint?
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Re: Very high utilities!

Postby TenantNet » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:37 pm

First, are you rent stab, or do you know if you should be rent stab (six or more units in the building, built before 1947 and not a co-op/condo)? Have you checked with DHCR on this? With rent stab units, the LL cannot pass on the charges.

For non RS units, while I can't say for certain, but I do not believe landlords can legally pass on the cost of water or sewer bills, and if so, it would depend on metering per apartment. No matter what, you would have a right to get a copy of those bills.

I would say call the NYC Water Board, but their function is not to question how the landlord bills tenants. So they would not necessarily know.
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Re: Very high utilities!

Postby JingoFresh » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:42 pm

Thank's for your reply.

I did my research to try and see if the unit is RS, and from what I got from DHCR it is not.

I need to go to their office one day to get more information as there is a limit to what I can request over the phone. As of the moment though, the unit does not seem to be RS.

I did get a copy of the bill, and it shows the sewage usage as 3 times higher than previous bills which were all more or less the same, a few dollars difference.

The water company wouldn't tell me anything as the bills are not in my name and they will only speak to landlords, not tenants.

Do I have any power to force the landlord to investigate this usage? If it was due to LL repairs or something I don't think I should have to pay it.
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Re: Very high utilities!

Postby TenantNet » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:02 pm

Remember that while DHCR can make the determination, in your research with DHCR, chances are they only tell you about rent and registrations as filed by the LL. If there are other issues that might lead to RS jurisdiction, chances are you will need to develop the evidence yourself.

If there are 6+ units, and if it is pre-47, then you have to find out what excuse the LL is using to claim it's not RS. It might be legitimate, but it might not be.

Water company? Don't you mean the NYC Water Board? Where are you located?
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Re: Very high utilities!

Postby JingoFresh » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:13 pm

I'm in Williamsburg, and yes I meant the NYC Water Board.

I'm still doing research into the apartment being RS, but so far I haven't been able to show that it is.
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Re: Very high utilities!

Postby TenantNet » Wed Apr 30, 2014 1:50 pm

Go to the People's Firehouse in Billyburg. 113 Berry St.

They should have people there that can walk you through these issues.
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