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Idea for saving on water bill when leaks occur


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I've had this idea and wanted to get the opinion of other landlords. If you've been a landlord for a while you've probably been stuck with an extremely high water bill and sometimes high water and sewer bill, most likely from a leaky toilet that that the tenant "forgot" to tell you about. I'm working with someone to create a device that can read the device that your water company uses to determine your usage. The hope is that we can take the information and create an app for your phone. It would be set up to alert you after a predetermined amount of gallons has been reached for any given time period (say a day). The goal being that instead of finding out 30 or even 90 days after your leak occurred you would find out immediately. 

My question is, is this something other landlords would be interested in?  If so, what other information would you find useful?  And lastly, how much would you willing to spend on something like this?  

Any input would be helpful, and I appreciate the time!  The last time I got burned like this was about 4 years ago for about $1700. It doesn't happen a lot but when it does, it is really demoralizing. 

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Like most landlords I don't pay the water bill, the tenant does.

Your idea is only likely to affect people with water meters. They aren't compulsory so many people don't have them

The only time I would pay for water use is in property with a meter during voids but I don't live there so don't use any water. If there was a water leak I'd see it on the floor.

There are devices already on the market that alert you to leaks

Any leaks we have had in the lasts 20 years have

* been very small or

* in properties without meters and caused no problems or

* outside of the property or

* have resulted in a larger bill paid by the tenant

I wouldn't want one unless it was free with a packet of cornflakes.

I wish you luck in your business venture.

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Managing a few hundred properties I would say no more that 25-30% of those properties have water meters though I acknowledge as the years go by that percentage will increase.

I would also state that I find water leaks are not that common and the ones that do arise are noticed fairly quickly and fixed with little damage. I have never (touch wood) had  a major escape of water causing collapsed ceilings etc.

Then if I was to analyse the leaks I have had over the years I would say 75% of them have been the escape of waste water.

So on that basis I dont see a need for the product you are developing and that is me speaking as both a agent and a landlord.

There probably is a market for it but I am not sure what it is.     

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I think there'd be privacy issues too if a landlord seeing usage of someone else. It would a bit like if I had an HMO where I was paying the bills I had one of those apps that could turn down your  heating - can't see the tenants being happy about that. - Yes sounds like US market thing.,

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