Help Needed with Municipal Account





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  1. #1
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    Default Help Needed with Municipal Account

    Gents, Can any of you recommend someone or a company that can assist with Municipal Accounts ?
    Or advise on how to best handle this.


    So here is the story -

    I have a rental property where everything is going swimmingly. Tenant's water bill is usually around the R400 - R450 mark.
    Next thing we know, The person doing the Water Meter reading sends me a Video of my unit's water meter going flat out.
    Tenant gets called and he confirms, no water currently being used. I inform the Meter Reader to shut the main tap off, and I go over there to have a look.

    Can't see a thing wrong. No leaking pipes, no wet spots on the ground, etc. I call plumbers to come and have a look, and they also can't figure it out.
    In the end I decide to have the whole feed pipe to the house replaced. (Meter is in front of garden, not close to home) In the end the plumber lays about 20m of new feed pipe.

    Thought that was the end of that. Boy, Was I wrong.

    Next Month the managing agent (Pro Admin) hits me with a R192k water usage account. - Yes, that is correct, R192 thousand rands.

    Turns out the running water meter racked up about 6000 Units. Pro-Admin just shrug their shoulders when I'm trying to talk to them, as they just carry the fee forward as they get it from the Municipality. Municipality just shrug their Shoulders when I'm trying to talk to them.

    What I can't wrap my mind around is, according to the Municipality, if this was a normal residential unit, they would have been able to credit the charge, but seeing as how this is now through the Complex's bulk meter, they are unable to credit the charge.

    Anyone able to assist with something,anything ?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    interesting scenario.

    did the plumbers declare the meter faulty and was it replaced ?

    is there maybe an olympic size pool near by which was recently filled ?

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    Nah, Nothing like that.

    Seems like the feed pipe must have burst underground somewhere.

    I was with when the plumber did all the work.
    Morning before work began, meter checked, still running flat out. New feed pipe installed, Meter fine.

    And fine since - Back to normal R400-R450pm.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    Is there any chance of air getting into the system.
    The air can cycle the meter when passing through.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    IF this is all correct then this guy needs help !

    I do not have any influential contacts, I do not have a lot of money, so cannot help beyond a couple of 100 bucks BUT
    How do we fight the SYSTEM when things go so obviously wrong?

    My neighbor was recently hit with a R 20 K bill due to a water leak.
    In SPITE OF NOTIFYING THEM IMMEDIATELY it took them approx 48 hours to rectify.
    Other neighbors also reported the leak at the time.

    NOW they have cut off his water due to non-payment of the R 20 K + bill.

    But in the townships water runs free from open taps etc. ..... and municipal roads / mainline leaks ....
    Soooo wrong.

    [B]I am not even sure if it is legal for the municipality to cut off the basic water supply/B] ... is the supply of clean water not guaranteed under our constitution ?
    Obviously within limits I would guess - so maybe the "usage" exceeded the limits?

    Must I now supply from my own property at my own (then inflated) cost due to high usage just to help out?

    Our government (note small caps) sucks big time.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter1949 View Post
    [BMy neighbor was recently hit with a R 20 K bill due to a water leak..
    Peter, just ask him to check on his water bill if he wasn't paying insurance
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    In terms of the feeder pipe you refer to, have you established where the municipal pipe ends and where the complex responsibility starts? You can also try and establish what is the ''commons'' and where that starts and ends.

    It doesnt make sense that a meter will run if the problem is on the input side with no off-take on the output side and the meter is in between, that puzzles me.
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    Quote Originally Posted by Estee View Post
    In terms of the feeder pipe you refer to, have you established where the municipal pipe ends and where the complex responsibility starts? You can also try and establish what is the ''commons'' and where that starts and ends.

    It doesnt make sense that a meter will run if the problem is on the input side with no off-take on the output side and the meter is in between, that puzzles me.

    Issue is/was somewhere downstream from Meter - Between Meter and House.

    As for "Commons", Water pipe was running majority of it's length in the Common property.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre N View Post
    Issue is/was somewhere downstream from Meter - Between Meter and House.

    As for "Commons", Water pipe was running majority of it's length in the Common property.
    I believe that if the leak happens after the meter on your side then you are responsible for the damages and consumption costs.

    as far as the water supplier is concerned the water was used and billed for.

    You might have a better chance trying to recover some monies from insurance whether yours or the complexes.

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  11. #10
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    Not sure if possible with your municipality, but in PE you can apply for a "rebate" of sorts if you have a certified plumbers report that confirms that there was a leak. They then credit the account the difference from normal consumption.

    Good Luck, hope you get it sorted.
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  12. #11
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    I had a similar situation in a house. I had the plumber give me a letter stating that it was an undetectable water leak. I sent that through to the municipality and they credited 6k if I remember correctly. That was their cap. I think my loss was 11k. Strongs!
    Last edited by bones; 2019/04/16 at 04:39 PM.
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  13. #12
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    I'm damn sure that I recall reading a post / article or seeing a video somewhere on water meters that can be made to spin waaaay too fast through introducing an air bubble or the likes thereof ?.............. tried to Google a but but came up blank ......
    Maybe others have better googling skilz than I do ?

    Edit: Think it was this one, maybe not applicable here ............. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAFwtGzhgUA

    Double edit - https://northglennews.co.za/103294/w...metre-reading/

    https://www.sans10400.co.za/consumer...r-water-bills/

    Maybe this info coupled with the video of your meter running flat out will help your case ?
    Last edited by AndyT; 2019/04/16 at 08:08 PM. Reason: Added info and link
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  14. #13
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    This was my post following my water issue.
    https://www.4x4community.co.za/forum...d.php?t=293307

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    PM your email address then I can send you the gory details of what I was up against.
    Last edited by waldo_g; 2019/04/16 at 09:34 PM.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    Its kinda like getting hit with cellular out of bundle charges, something I believe the cellular companies are getting rapped over the knuckles for at the moment.

    With the amount of money involved, legal counsel might be an option worth considering.
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  17. #16
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    I do believe that you can probably get that bill lower, however, you would have to spend quite a bit of time at your municipality. It is better to go there and speak to all the correct people, and including the accounts department.
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  18. #17
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    In my experience the relief that they offer is a payment plan. Paying off almost R200k is gonna hurt.

    Edit: I might seem like a hypocrite because in the divorce threads I said that lawyers should be avoided as much as possible. But each case on its own merit. In this instance the amount of money involved might make it worthwhile.
    Last edited by albertvl; 2019/04/17 at 10:03 AM.
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  20. #18
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    Sorry for a quick hijack: What is a reasonable time to wait for the municipality to respond to a leaking water meter?

  21. #19
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    Quote Originally Posted by albertvl View Post

    Edit: I might seem like a hypocrite because in the divorce threads I said that lawyers should be avoided as much as possible. But each case on its own merit. In this instance the amount of money involved might make it worthwhile.




    to OP:

    My first suggestion would be to get an agent that normally deals with the council to assist.


    Is there a bulk meter to the "complex" or "estate" on which one could be able to determine if that amount of water was actually used? Your plumbers would be able to issue a report that there was no leak and it must have been a faulty meter? If this is the case then you need to report the matter preferably via an agent as mentioned. If that does not work, escalate to even involve the local politicians as ridiculous as it may sound. Then move over to litigation if not successful in reversing the charges.


    On my experience with COJ and the like if these agents cannot help you.... Deaf ears. Even on formal complaints. They just want to give you a "reference number" and nothing else. Then they will eventually cut off your supply or even Electricity if they are the suppliers, forcing you you enter into litigation. But you have to follow the complaints process in any case and there is off course a real chance that it might be sorted out. Maybe COT is better..
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  22. #20
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    Default Re: Help Needed with Municipal Account

    Quote Originally Posted by Andre N View Post
    Gents, Can any of you recommend someone or a company that can assist with Municipal Accounts ? Or advise on how to best handle this.So here is the story - I have a rental property where everything is going swimmingly. Tenant's water bill is usually around the R400 - R450 mark.Next thing we know, The person doing the Water Meter reading sends me a Video of my unit's water meter going flat out.Tenant gets called and he confirms, no water currently being used. I inform the Meter Reader to shut the main tap off, and I go over there to have a look.Can't see a thing wrong. No leaking pipes, no wet spots on the ground, etc. I call plumbers to come and have a look, and they also can't figure it out.In the end I decide to have the whole feed pipe to the house replaced. (Meter is in front of garden, not close to home) In the end the plumber lays about 20m of new feed pipe.Thought that was the end of that. Boy, Was I wrong.Next Month the managing agent (Pro Admin) hits me with a R192k water usage account. - Yes, that is correct, R192 thousand rands.Turns out the running water meter racked up about 6000 Units. Pro-Admin just shrug their shoulders when I'm trying to talk to them, as they just carry the fee forward as they get it from the Municipality. Municipality just shrug their Shoulders when I'm trying to talk to them. What I can't wrap my mind around is, according to the Municipality, if this was a normal residential unit, they would have been able to credit the charge, but seeing as how this is now through the Complex's bulk meter, they are unable to credit the charge.Anyone able to assist with something,anything ?
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