Water is a valuable resource, and it is necessary for life. At the same time, water costs money, and it can be frustrating if a tenant is running up the water bill. If you are including Utilities in your rent, your tenants might not care how much water they use, so how can you deal with this issue?
There are a few ways you can convince your tenants to reduce their water usage, but remember that you should always reach out to a lawyer if you have a legal issue on your hands. That way, you understand all of the options that your disposal, and you can protect yourself while reducing water usage.
Signs of Excess Water Consumption
First, it is important to understand the most common signs of excess water consumption. Some of the most important points to keep in mind include:
Your Water Bill Has Gone Up
Of course, one of the biggest signs that could indicate that your tenants are using too much water is that your water bill is going up. If your water bill is going up, it means that your property is using more water during that billing period when compared to the past.
Now, your water bill is not necessarily going to give you any information regarding why your water consumption rate has gone up. It will be up to you to figure out why your water bill has gone up, and that is why you need access to more information.
Your Water Meter Readings Are Changing
If you have multiple residents living on your property, such as a duplex, you may have a difficult time getting everyone to change their habits.
That is where keeping track of the water meter can be helpful. It might be difficult to read the water meter if you have never done so before, but it is beneficial, particularly if you take a look at the water meter when your water consumption should be at a minimum.
For example, if you check the gauge at 3 AM, and the dial is spinning quickly, it could be a sign that someone has left the faucet running, or that there is a leak present. Regardless, you now know it is time to get the plumbing system inspected.
A Plumbing Inspection Turns Up a Problem
Before you accuse your residents of running up the water bill, you should invest in a plumbing inspection. A plumbing inspection is important because it will let you know if your water bill is high because of a leak (such as a running toilet) or if the water bill is high because everyone is simply using too much water.
If you get a plumbing inspection, and the plumber doesn’t find leaky toilets or appliances that have to be addressed, now you know that your residents are simply using too much water. This will give you additional evidence to convince your residents to reduce their water consumption.
How To Reduce an Excessive Water Consumption Bill
There are ways for you to reduce water consumption without making tenants unhappy. After all, you may not want to go through the process of marketing your property to find another tenant.
Some of the most important tips you should keep in mind include:
Track Your Water Usage
It may come as a surprise to hear that there are a lot of property owners who do not take any steps to track their water usage. You may feel like the water bill is going up, but you also need to take steps to track water usage to figure out how water usage is changing over time.
For example, you may want to install an advanced water management system that can provide you with access to a wealth of information. DROP is a modern, innovative system that will give you everything you need to manage the water supply of your property. That way, you can figure out what is happening and how to address it.
Survey the Property for Leaks
If you haven’t already, you need to survey the property for leaks. Just because your water bill is going up doesn’t mean that your residents are the culprit. For example, there is a chance that there could be a leak somewhere on your property. You simply need to find it.
You might want to reach out to an expert who can survey the property for leaks and help you identify where they are coming from. That way, you can take steps to address them and reduce your water bill.
Do not forget that you need to prevent these leaks from coming back. You might want to install a home protection valve that can help notify you automatically of leak detections, and stop the flow of water in the event of a major leak.
Shift Utility Responsibility To The Tenant
Is the lease up soon? If so, now is the time to renegotiate with your resident. If you are tired of dealing with high water bills, you may want to consider shifting utility responsibility to the tenant. This makes them solely responsible for the bill, and you can shift the account with the water company into their name.
You might want to consider reducing the rent slightly in exchange for your residence paying the utility bills; however, this it is one of the most effective ways to convince your residents to reduce their water consumption. If your residents are now responsible for paying the water bill, they will probably take steps to restrict their water usage.
Install a Flow Restrictor
Finally, if you have really done everything you can, and you don’t have an opportunity to renegotiate the lease in the near future, you may want to consider installing a flow restrictor. A flow restrictor is exactly what it sounds like. Essentially, your residents are not going to be able to use more than a certain amount of water at a time, and it will prevent them from running up your water bill.
On the other hand, your residents might get frustrated if they can’t run the dishwasher and shower at the same time. It is up to you to decide how badly you want to restrict the water flow, but keep in mind that this might make your relationship with your tenants a bit rocky.
Before taking these steps, you might want to inform renters of excessive use with a notice. Then, you might want to consider adding future fees to conserve water and reduce the amount of money you need to pay. Before any of this though, be sure you talk with a lawyer and that everyone knows their rights, just to be on the safe side.
Control Your Water Usage With the Right Products
Clearly, there are plenty of options available if you want your residents to reduce their water usage, but you also need to arm yourself with information that can provide you with some insight into your water bill while also using equipment that can restrict the flow of water if necessary.
DROP has a variety of products that can help you keep an eye on your water consumption and control the flow of water. There are even products that can alert you when excess water consumption is happening or when there is a leak present. Consider reviewing our products today, and make sure you have control over your water usage.