Residential Property Management/Utility Charges
My wife and I live in a one-bedroom apartment in North Carolina and have noticed over the past five or so months that our water bill has gone from around $20 a month to about $70-80 a month. At first, we believed it to be a leak and had the apartment maintenance check it out. We voiced our concern and the apartment complex stated it was water running constantly in our toilet. The maintenance staff corrected the issue and we believed it to be resolved. Unfortunately, our water bill has not gone down at all. With our current water rates and charges, the apartment complex is charging us for over 6,000 gallons of water a month used by two people who work full time and go to school full time. We tried to contact the apartment front office again about the issue and were told, in short, to just pay the bills and stop bothering them. What can we do now? We've attempted to contact the water company but since the apartment complex is who they are contracted with, we cannot access any of the information on our specific apartment.
First I would put the issue in writing to the management company. If no action on their part, you can hire a plumber to investigate the situation. If the plumber finds the problem that should have been handled by the management company's maintenance personnel, then you may have recourse to have the plumber's bill (and maybe some of the water charges) refunded to you.
On the billing side of things, if the management company handles the prorations on a shared water meter situation, you have a right to demand the accounting. $20/month does seem low, so it could be that the billing wasn't done correctly previously. Regardless, they should show how how the prorations are done.