Condo Associations Opting to Not Include Water as a Utility in Their Monthly Dues

April 16, 2016 by Lucas Lechuga

water utility

You know what they say when you assume: you make an ASS out of U and ME. Until recently, it was assumed, for condos located in Miami, that water would be included as a utility in a condo owner’s condominium association dues and, therefore, would be included in the rent price for tenants who lease their property. That no longer seems to be a safe assumption. Two recently completed condo developments – Nine at Mary Brickell Village and The Crimson – have done away with including in their condo dues water as a utility. For those two condo developments, units have associated to them separate water meters, which are read periodically in order to compute their individual utility bill.

While at first glance this may seem like great news for investors since they no longer would have to foot the bill for a utility service that they personally are not using, it could potentially be risky for owners as well. If a tenant neglected to pay his/her water bill, a lien could be placed on the property. That is not the case for other utilities and services such as electricity and cable TV. If a tenant neglected to pay their electricity bill, Florida Power & Light would simply shut off the power to the property. If a tenant neglected to pay their cable TV bill, the cable company would simply deactivate service. If, on the other hand, a tenant neglected to pay their water bill, the bill would continue to run up and a lien would be placed on the owner’s property. Something to keep in mind, especially for Realtors who are in the habit of telling prospective tenants that water comes included in the rent price. Rather than assuming, it’s always best to double check with a building’s condominium association before relaying such information.

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