An Uncaring Tenancy – Is There Any Hope For Water Conservation-Leak Detection in Rental Properties?
I’m a property manager for a mom-and-pop company that owns several residential buildings in San Francisco. In April of 2007 one of our buildings, a twenty-one unit, pool leak repair Melbourne fl early 20th century Victorian in the Lower Haight, saw its water usage more than double over a two-month span, going from approximately 70,000 gallons to 168,000 gallons of water consumption.
In the midst of our guilt (we consider ourselves a ‘green friendly’ company, having installed a solar array on this very building) for allowing such egregious environmental irresponsibility to happen right under our noses, we were further appalled when we saw that the cost of our water bill had tripled over the doubling of water usage, going from $500.00 to more than $1500.00.
With these bills, I learned to recognize the hard way that wastewater usage in San Francisco is billed on a tiered basis, whereby the more you waste, the greater the rate at which you pay for that waste.
The Landlord, of course, demanded that we find the source of the water leak at all costs. I reminded him that we had, in March, within the time period in question, had two tenants report running and leaking toilets. The tenants had each taken about three weeks to report the need for a repair of the running toilet.
When I questioned these tenants as to why they had not reported the toilet leak earlier, they said that the condition had only produced a small, nearly silent noise that they had grown used to, and that it didn’t seem like a big deal, as their running toilets each continued to work fine even as they leaked.
Well, after careful research I found that the enormity of waste and the 200% increase in cost that we experienced was indeed caused by just two leaking toilets, and the negligence on the part of our tenants in reporting it. When I reported back to the Landlord that only two toilets over three weeks had been responsible for our disaster, he balked, “Impossible.”