You have to wonder sometimes exactly how people think. We own (well the bank does actually but that’s by the by) an apartment in Brno. We will be moving back there in a couple of months. It’s the ground floor flat in a four story building meaning that we have three neighbors above us. Various services are shared between the tenants and accounted for at the end of each year such as common power, water and a cleaning.
Really, the building is a microcosm of the world I should think. It’s like a bloody soap opera as well.
The people who live at the top of our nice building seem to believe that the common funds are there to pay for their improvements. In the hallway outside of our front door is a door frame and nearby a pile of bricks, plaster and dust. Apparently, our nice neighbor replaced his front door frame and deposited the unwanted materials there because…. ‘the hallways will be redecorated shortly using the common funds and whoever does that can dispose of his crap at the same time’. Can you believe the sheer cheek!
You see, we have been away and renting out place out. He is in for a shock on our return because its all going back up the stairs to be dumped outside of HIS front door.
Now, for some unknown reason our WC and the WC of the people two floors above us share a meter. Every year, the meter is split based on the number of people occupying each apartment by month. Since ours has been lying empty for several months, you would think there could be little question about the relative shares of this bill given that an apartment is charged for one person per month even if its EMPTY by house rules. I.e. we are helping pay for our nice neighbors flushings. You would think they would be grateful right? Nope.
You see, we renovated our place before moving in and then promptly moving out to come to Prague and they suggest that during this reconstruction, we had the builders tap into said WC water supply for other ‘usages’. They claim that they have been watching the meter (its buried in the basement) and that strangely usage has gone up significantly whenever our place is occupied. Of course, they can’t actually show us any evidence of this as they didn’t actually write down meter readings but just ‘observed’ this. Furthermore, they suggest that when our apartment was rented, it was occupied by three not two people as we suggest and therefore, we should be charged more of the meter.
Well, they are right. Sometime during our renter’s stay at our apartment, his wife gave birth. We, as yet, haven’t had an answer to the question we naturally posed – ‘how does a new born baby flush a toilet?’.
Anyway, to return to the main thrust. Of course, there were no changes to the arrangement whereby the WC is served by one water supply and the rest of our flat by another – independently metered and paid for by me. Its just a matter of inviting them down to our place next time we are there and showing them the meter going around when we turn on the shower, bathroom faucet and/or washing machine!
Now apparently they dispute 2012 and 2013 allocations of water charges. They are due to pay around twice what we will. They comprise 5 adults there all year long, we comprise two adults there for 6-months of the year. Yes, it sounds unfair. I think we are paying too much.
The lady who does the accounting for the building as a service has decided to get this resolved she needs to call a meeting of the owners of the building – all four owners! Of course, we were quiet puzzled as to why this involves anyone but ourselves and the sharers of the meter and, just exactly why would we spend 2000CZK in petrol and lose a day at work to drive down there for a meeting over a 500CZK dispute? Yes. Can you believe it – they are disputing $25 over the two years! That’s TWENTY FIVE dollars.
For said $25, our neighbor has been recording the comings and goings of our tenants – she knew the exact date they left – we didn’t. Recording our comings and goings and whether if we visited we were there long enough to possibly flush the lav. She visits the filthy,. cobweb infested cellar to check that meter all the time. And all for $25. What is wrong with this woman??? Especially since its pretty obvious that it is us that overpay. So far our suggestion that they invest in their own separate meter has fallen on deaf ears.
So, you see, I sometimes wonder about people I do. Luckily, the people above us have so far been as sweet as can be….. but you never know do you.