With the drought pushed to the forefront of everyone's mind and LA looking at mandatory cutbacks on water, landlords who pay for tenants' water are looking for a way to cut back on usage. One possibility that the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles is looking at would make certain tenants (rent-controlled ones) pay for their own water in exchange for "slightly-reduced rents," says KPCC. This was bound to happen one day. There is a catch: that tenants wouldn't be getting their own meters; they'd be paying a portion of the building's collective water bill.
Of course, they're not just going to divide up the water bill equally. Instead, the amount to be paid by each tenant would be determined by an outside party, who would come in and "determine a formula to decide how much each unit should pay - for instance, based on the size of the unit," which seems like a lot more work than just finding out how much water people are using.
Tenants rights' activists are on-board with renters taking on some of the financial burden of conservation but agree that the third-party-magic-formula method of determining how much people pay is pretty silly. "If we're going to pass on water to tenants, then it should be based on actual use of tenants and not some type of formula," says a rep for the Coalition for Economic Survival. If put into effect, the program would be something that landlords would opt into, and would only apply to new tenants, as older tenants have rental agreements that state that their water will be paid.
· Drought: LA Landlords lobby to pass on water bills to tenants. Should they? [SCPR]
· Mapping SoCal's Mandatory Water Cutbacks Big and Small [Curbed LA]