Separate water meters

Peter Crawford, Meadowridge

A colleague of mine owns a property in the southern suburbs – a big house, divided into four flatlets. He has put in four tenants. Up until now the tenants’ rental included all utility costs. There were no separate water meters, unfortunately resulting in the problematical splitting of water costs manually.

Last week he discovered that these flatlets now each have the three tenants who signed the lease and
a further seven who
are bunking in the lounge.

The overall water bill has risen to catastrophic levels as the tenants all assumed that all water was for the account of the landlord.

The landlord has invested in water meters and will be turning the meters on in due course. The meters operate on the prepaid card system, so unless the water is paid for, it is cut off immediately. The 35-odd tenants are in for a huge surprise as the water bill overall is more than R30 000 per month.

There must be hundreds of flats and sectional title dwellings where water is not metered separately and the overall bill is split between the thrifty and the wasters. I know of many.

The authorities should make individual metering mandatory. It will save millions of kilolitres.