Advice on former landlord asking for backdated water bills

28 posts in this topic

6 minutes ago, Alakhiin said:

 

Hi Jeba,

 

So are you saying the mistake is hers and that I can't be held liable for that given I paid the amount she asked for in 2020? The problem is that these dates are giving me a headache, it would appear she has tried to simply "tack on" the 2020 outstanding amount to my 2021 bill, can she do that?

 

Cheers

My gut feeling is telling me she can't, but I'm not a lawyer. Maybe in case she can prove it was a mistake (by providing copies of the old and the new water bill) she can correct it. I would suggest to her to compromise on half the demanded backpayment as it's not worth spending €1000 on legal costs.

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Just now, bennetn said:

Those figures don't seem to make much sense unless you know the bill and readings of the previous bill(s) actuals

If anything they have balanced themselves out..366 to 415 is 49m3  for 2021 is around the right guessitmate

The total use bill for 2021 is less than 600 - which is based on the wild 300m3 + figure -  so how can your bit only be 600 extra?  

 

 

 Hi Bennet,

 

I can't make sense of them either; the figures seem massively inflated and I can't understand how I'm liable for a mistake she admitted to, two years ago now. 

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15 minutes ago, Alakhiin said:

I believe I paid around 140 euros for the year, I shower daily and that's about it. Never been one to waste water. (It's not exact, I'm not home to find the first invoice) Hence the 600 near knocked me clean out :') 

 

The landlady needs to report her reading error to the water company and get a corrected bill.  As murph said, if the initial reading was 366, the usage was 49m3 during the whole year.  However, you say you moved 4 months ago so what was your move out reading?  Was it also 415 and nobody has been living there since?  I assume you don't want to pay for the next tenant.

 

Another thing, who was living there in 2019 and got this counter up to 366 in the first place?  You would think that the water company would notice if the counter had been at 300 a year earlier and a year later is suddenly 36.  Unless your landlady has been reading it wrong since forever and undercharging all her tenants for water.

 

As everybody is saying, the landlady should have billed you for 2020 in 2021 at the latest so has missed her chance.  She can only bill you for 2021.  There is an exception when an energy provider does not provide a bill in a timely manner through no fault of the landlord but in this case, it is her fault for reading the meter wrong.

 

In order to figure out what your bill should be for 2021, you need to figure out how many days of 2021 you lived in the apartment.  The guesstimated new value for the meter reading on 31.12.2020 would be 372,6 based on the 366 value on 12.11.2020.  If your end meter reading is the same as 11.11.2021, 415, then you have used 42.4m3 in 2021.  Then there is a yearly grundpreis of 205,06.  So say you moved exactly 4 months ago, you would have moved on 13.09.2021 and you would have spent 256 days in the apartment in 2021.  256/365*205,06=143,82 grundpreis fee and if 415 was your end reading, then 42.4*1,82=77,17 useage fee or total of 221€

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Just now, LeonG said:

 

The landlady needs to report her reading error to the water company and get a corrected bill.  As murph said, if the initial reading was 366, the usage was 49m3 during the whole year.  However, you say you moved 4 months ago so what was your move out reading?  Was it also 415 and nobody has been living there since?  I assume you don't want to pay for the next tenant.

 

Another thing, who was living there in 2019 and got this counter up to 366 in the first place?  You would think that the water company would notice if the counter had been at 300 a year earlier and a year later is suddenly 36.  Unless your landlady has been reading it wrong since forever and undercharging all her tenants for water.

 

As everybody is saying, the landlady should have billed you for 2020 in 2021 at the latest so has missed her chance.  She can only bill you for 2021.  There is an exception when an energy provider does not provide a bill in a timely manner through no fault of the landlord but in this case, it is her fault for reading the meter wrong.

 

In order to figure out what your bill should be for 2021, you need to figure out how many days of 2021 you lived in the apartment.  The guesstimated new value for the meter reading on 31.12.2020 would be 372,6 based on the 366 value on 12.11.2020.  If your end meter reading is the same as 11.11.2021, 415, then you have used 42.4m3 in 2021.  Then there is a yearly grundpreis of 205,06.  So say you moved exactly 4 months ago, you would have moved on 13.09.2021 and you would have spent 256 days in the apartment in 2021.  256/365*205,06=143,82 grundpreis fee and if 415 was your end reading, then 42.4*1,82=77,17 useage fee or total of 221€

 

 Hi Leon,

 

Thank you for taking the time to wade through this, there's quite a lot to unpack. Thanks also to @murphaph.

 

So, after having read what you said, is the 221€ just for the water bill, or is that the total for the house utilities also? I just want to figure out a final sum and I can approach her with it but the numbers right now have me with my head in my hands. They just don't add up and I'm now of the opinion she's noticed her mistake is is unfairly trying to lump it on me. I don't believe anyone else is there right now, and I Paid up until the 31st October 2020. 

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5 hours ago, Alakhiin said:

 

 Hi Leon,

 

Thank you for taking the time to wade through this, there's quite a lot to unpack. Thanks also to @murphaph.

 

So, after having read what you said, is the 221€ just for the water bill, or is that the total for the house utilities also? I just want to figure out a final sum and I can approach her with it but the numbers right now have me with my head in my hands. They just don't add up and I'm now of the opinion she's noticed her mistake is is unfairly trying to lump it on me. I don't believe anyone else is there right now, and I Paid up until the 31st October 2020. 

 

221€ would be just the water bill for 2021 if you moved on 13.09.2021 and your end reading moving out was 415 same as the reading on 11.11.21.  However, looking at her nebenkostenabrechnung, I see that she lists a water bill of 955,07 where your part is 318,37.  So is the water meter not just for your apartment but hers as well?  This changes the calculations.  It seems that she is making you pay 1/3 of the total.  In the absence of private meters, you can calculate utilities by person or by square meters.  If the landlady has a husband or other person living with her, that would make sense.  In that case, your bill is even less.  You would calculate as following:  If you paid rent up until end of October, the yearly fee of 205,06 until end of October would be 10/12*205,06=170,88 and your part of that, 1/3, would be 56,96.  The guesstimated meter reading at 31.12.2020 is still 372,6 and a guesstimated value at the end of October would be 413,5 so total usage during your time there in 2021 would be 40,9m3*1,82€ or 74,48€ and your 1/3 of that would be 24,83 so your total waterbill in 2021 = 56,96+24,83=81,79 and not 318,37.  So you could take 318,37-81,79=236,58 off your debt to her.

 

As for the other chunks of nebenkosten, I don't suppose you have the bills to dispute them but I notice that she states that these are the fees until October and not for the full year so if that is the case, she would have had to take her yearly bills and multiply by 10/12 to get that.  She didn't do that with the water bill because she is trying to make you pay from Nov. 2020 to Nov. 2021 so it might be worth it to ask her for copies of her other bills.  I also notice that she's charging  you half in some cases and 1/3 in others.  I have no idea if that is correct in all cases.  You might want to join and take this to the mieterverein.

 

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If what she says is true, you use more water than our family of 4. All this crap looks like: "Here I seem to have made a mistake, here are a bunch of documents. Now you figure out my mistake and pay me that amount I say..."
 
I would play hardball - send a registered letter stating the relationship is over, and if she wants to insist, demand to see the acknowledgement of the meter reading error from the water company, along with all of the corresponding cost breakdowns and invoices from her 'homemade' invoice.
 
We receive a very detailed breakdown of our Nebenkosten every year, along with copies of the invoices that the Hausverwaltung pays on our behalf. Shall we assume she receives the same? If so, she can send them to you and highlight what she thinks you owe her, and why.
 
Let's see how far she's willing to go to try and gouge another 600 EUR from you!
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23 hours ago, Alakhiin said:

@sluzup, I agree I'm not trying to dodge paying here but the figures just don't seem to add up and whilst my landlord was good to me for the most part, I don't want to be taken advantage of.

 

 

Absolutely right.  Also, I have no idea of your finances.  I know when I was younger a bill like this would have crippled me. 

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