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Who is the responsible party for a faulty water meter, the City or the homeowner>

Saint Clair Shores, MI |
Filed under: Business

Last week the St. Clair Shores Water Dept. upgraded their water meters, they had inside and outside meters. We now have RF meters. The tech told me my meter was off on the outside by 200 units, I received a bill for $1425.00, 2 days later. I have lived in my home for 10 yrs., they took the difference and divided it equally amongst the 10 yrs. with fluctuating water charges. Many residents are experiencing the same result due to their faulty meters. The Water Dept. offered me an interest free loan, at whatever price I could afford each month. Am I responsible for their error, and their faulty equipment?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

You are not responsible for the faulty equipment. You are responsible for the water and sewer usage you used. It *sounds like* what essentially has happened is that you used way more water than what you were actually billed for. If this is true, I do not think you have a good argument for not paying. It sounds like they are making it relatively easy to pay off the debt. Unpaid water bills are a lien on the property, so I would make every effort to resolve this. If they are willing to accept modest installments, I would take them up on it. Since this was a problem for the past 10 years, see if they will accept payments over that time period. That would work out to payments of about $12 per month.

James Frederick

***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!

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Asker

Posted

Thank you so much, I was getting conflicting stories as to what to do. This has really helped me make my decision.

James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

You are very welcome. I can certainly sympathize with you. I HATE it when bills like this come in. It seems like you are throwing your money away. Hopefully, the City will be willing to work with you and it will not be too painful.

Posted

I would need more details but IF they are correct it appears that you owe for the service, however at least part of the bill is past the statute of limitations and not legally enforceable.

To the PROSPECTIVE client, please call myself or another attorney for your choice with more detaiils and an appointment. My PRELIMINARY answer to your question(s) is for general purposes and based upon what little information you have conveyed. It is based on such limited information that the general answer should never be relied as a reason for your action or inaction. My response does NOT establish an attorney-client relationship and such may only be established by mutual agreement, and the signing of a written retainer agreement, which will generally require payment for our services, as this is what we do for a living and, just like you, we must get paid for our work.. .

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James P. Frederick

James P. Frederick

Posted

REALLY good catch on that, John. I did not even think about the SOL. James

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