Is it legal to meter all tenants water together and then separate the bill among the tenants?

UPDATED: Jul 7, 2012

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Is it legal to meter all tenants water together and then separate the bill among the tenants?

I live in three-bedroom apartment with three other occupants in my unit. We are being charged along with other units together and being giving a set amount to pay based on the usage of water based on the usage of the entire complex. It is obvious this is not fair, due to the fact that we try and reduce our water usage to keep the bill down but are still paying a lot for water and such. Is this legal though?

Asked on July 7, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Colorado


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of most municipalities, each rental unit must have its own separate water and utility meter to avoid the problem that you are writing about where each tenant is required to pay under the terms of his or her lease water and utilities.

The only exception is when the rent is a flat monthly rate where the landlord picks up the costs of the utilities. I suggest that you consult with your local permit and resource department about the requirements for separate meters for each of the rentals in your complex.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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