The notice of water fee reminder issued by Guangzhou Water Supply Company to Huangshi Building.
Recently, owing to the problem of water fee arrears, the owner and property company of Huangshi Building in Baiyun District have once again consulted with the city water company. The problem has not been solved yet. What is the problem?
The owner of Huangshi Mansion counts the total amount of water meters and calculates that the total water fee is more than 190,000 yuan. The reminder letter posted by the water company shows that the water fee owed by Huangshi Mansion reaches more than 370,000 yuan even if it does not include liquidated damages and sewage treatment fees, while the liquidated damages and sewage treatment fees are more than 680,000 yuan. u3002 Where does the water fee gap come from? Why is the water fee of Huangshi Building in arrears?
Since 2015, the owner and property management of Huangshi Building in Baiyun District of Guangzhou have been at a standstill with the water company on the issue of water charges. Because there is a big gap between the water meter readings of each household and the total water meter in the building, the property company suspended collecting the owners water fee and consulted with the water company. This consultation lasted for four years. In the past four years, the owners want to pay water fees on the basis of household water meters and find water companies on their doorsteps. However, the water company said it could not provide meter reading service for the owners on the grounds of arrears in payment of water fees.
Over-measurement of the total water meter and suspension of residential water charges
The problem of water fee arrears in Huangshi Building can be traced back to December 16, 2015. At that time, the property management office of Huangshi Building issued a notice suspending the collection of water fees for household meter reading. The reason is that due to the large difference between the reading of water meter and household water meter after the water department changed the master table, the management office is now negotiating with the water department.
According to the Administration, there are more than 160 households in Huangshi Mansion. All along, the water fee of Huangshi Building is collected and paid by the Management Department.
The Management Office described the cause of the accident in a document to the North District Water Supply Branch of Guangzhou Water Supply Company. In September 2014, after the water company replaced the water meter of Huangshi Building, there was a big gap between the total number of household water meters and the total water meter reading. Subsequently, in the process of communication and consultation between the management office and the water company, the gap between the total water meter reading of Huangshi Building and the household water meter reading has not been solved.
According to the reading of the water meters of each household in the building, the water charges from September 2014 to September 2015 totalled 56,036.19 yuan. In December 2015, the administrative office handed over the fee to the municipal water company. The water company accepted the water charge, and after accounting, it proposed that the cost was only enough for the water charge from September 2014 to May 2015, and that the water charge was still in arrears for four months.
The large gap between the total water meter readings and the household water meter readings in Huangshi Building has not been solved. Property companies are unable to charge owners for water according to the total water meter readings. Owners are also reluctant to pay water bills from unknown sources. The water company calculates the water cost of Huangshi Building by reading the total water meter. Over the past four years, the amount of water arrears in Huangshi Building has been increasing.
By May 20 this year, the water company issued a reminder notice. According to the reminder notice, Huangshi Building (customer name is Hainan Military Region Dry Rest Complex Building) needs to pay a total of 685740.28 yuan from November 2014 to May 2019, including 379330.38 yuan for water, 192861.51 yuan for sewage and 113548.39 yuan for breach of contract.
Some owners failed to pay the water fee on their own initiative, hoping to read the meter and charge it to the household.
The owner of Huangshi Building has written back to the reminder letter sent by the water company. In the reply, the owner expressed his views on the arrears of water fees and proposed solutions.
Firstly, the owner indicated that he had no intention of deliberately defaulting on the water bill. As early as October 19, 2018, the water company issued a letter urging the payment of water fees to Huangshi Building. According to the owner, since the management office no longer charges the owner water fee. The owner did not know until he saw the letter that the management office had not reached a solution with the water company. During this period, the owner did not receive any notice from the management office or the water company requesting payment of the water fee.
After seeing the reminder letter, the owner tried to pay the water fee by himself. Some owners went to the business hall of the water company to pay the water fee on their own initiative, but the business hall was not accepted and informed that no payment accounts were opened for each household in Huangshi Building. Owners believe that in the case of disputes over water use in Huangshi Mansion, water companies do not open payment accounts for each household, and owners can not pay according to actual water consumption.
The owner put forward several suggestions, including opening the payment account of each household, installing water meters separately, and verifying the payment of historical water fees. As far as the liquidated damages arising from the arrears of water fees are concerned, the owners believe that they should not bear them. The owner of the Huangshi Building has been paying the water fee on time, which is suspended after receiving the notice from the Huangshi Building Management Office. Owners believe that Huangshi Building has always been charged water fees by the management office. During the period when water fees are suspected and negotiations fail, the owner has no other effective way to pay water fees, there is no breach of contract, and should not bear any late fees or liquidated damages.
The water meter is qualified by the inspection department, and there is leakage in the fire fighting system of the residential area.
The city water company told Nandu reporters that it had investigated the reasons why the total water meter and household water meter readings put forward by Huangshi Mansion Management Office and owners were quite different. The water company and the owners representative sent the replaced water meter to Guangzhou Energy Inspection and Research Institute for inspection. The results showed that the water meter was qualified and there was no indication error.
Municipal Water Supply Company said that in August 2015, the company arranged staff to inspect the operation of water supply facilities on site. At that time, it preliminarily judged that there might be leakage problems and needed to do further drilling investigation. Without the consent of user representatives, it failed to carry out the investigation. It also suggested that the site should do a good job of water supply facilities maintenance, if necessary, municipal water supply facilities. Water companies can provide technical guidance. Since then, the water company has repeatedly communicated with users on water use at the site, but failed to reach an agreement.
In May 2019, according to the requirements of Huangshi Street, the water company once again assisted the site users to check the water supply facilities after the master list. After verification, the fire protection system of the district has hidden leakage problems, and the sites shared water facilities are not perfect.
In June, the leak was repaired by the tube tissue. On August 6, the water company again detected the leakage of the district and found that there was still water leakage in the fire system of the district. The water company once again informed the users of the situation and urged the maintenance and rectification as soon as possible.
With regard to the application for meter-reading submitted by the citizens, the water company said to the Nandu reporter: Our company has received the application for meter-reading from the owner representative of the building, which has been answered promptly at that time. After the site needs to rectify and improve the common water facilities and pay the arrears, the city water company can handle it. Read the meter to the household.
On the issue of water fees in arrears for many years in Huangshi Building, the water company introduced: Since August 2015, our company has sent nine reminders to the site, and has consulted with the water fee administrator of the building, the representative of Hainan Military Region Rest Center and the residents committee of Xiangjing Garden Community of Huangshi Street to solve the problem of water fees arrears, but all of them have reached a consensus. No consensus was reached.
Reporters learned that a few days ago, the water company, the management office and the owner of a consultation.
The water company should first make a statement to the household, and then recover the water fee that is in arrears.
Lawyer Liao Jianxun, partner of Guangdong Baodian Law Firm, believes that the first thing to do is to analyze the ownership of water meters and pipelines. The period between the total water meter set up by the water company and the household water meter is owned by all the owners. Therefore, the problems arising in this period should be borne by all owners. Of course, if the property company finds the problem but fails to deal with it in time, which leads to further expansion of the loss, the property company also needs to bear certain responsibilities.
So is the water company not responsible? Lawyer Liao Jianxun believes that in this case, as a public service enterprise, the water company has the responsibility to copy meters for every owner. It can not refuse to provide meter-reading services to the owner on the grounds of the owners joint arrears. The water company may first make a separate statement to the household, and then recover the outstanding water fees from the property company or all the owners. How can we avoid the occurrence of water bills owed for many years in Huangshi Building? Lawyer Liao Jianxun believes that the water company should make a separate list for each owner. Only in this way, the responsibility of each section of the water fee can be better defined, so as to avoid the phenomenon that a household in arrears of water fee causes people to stop water. He also believes that property companies should communicate in time to repair the facilities after finding problems.
So is the water company not responsible? Lawyer Liao Jianxun believes that in this case, as a public service enterprise, the water company has the responsibility to copy meters for every owner. It can not refuse to provide meter-reading services to the owner on the grounds of the owners joint arrears. The water company may first make a separate statement to the household, and then recover the outstanding water fees from the property company or all the owners.
How can we avoid the occurrence of water bills owed for many years in Huangshi Building? Lawyer Liao Jianxun believes that the water company should make a separate list for each owner. Only in this way, the responsibility of each section of the water fee can be better defined, so as to avoid the phenomenon that a household in arrears of water fee causes people to stop water. He also believes that property companies should communicate in time to repair the facilities after finding problems.