Annoying financial commitments, renters beware!

I took this studio to downsize from my 2 bedroom condo. All in an effort to reduce costs and help make my commuting and Las Vegas move more affordable. The apartment complex was fairly new but with it’s proximity to my old place was the best for the price. For the first 4 months or so, water and sewer was paid for by the management company. I didn’t think too much of the additional cost since I figured I’d never really be living in this place and therefore, water and sewer would be neglible additional costs. Also, they offer a trash pickup for a flat fee of $25. While annoying, at least I understood this at the start and made my mind up to just suck up the fee.

As for the other fees, I’ve now come to loathe, there is nothing I can do about it.  For example, even though I turn off the water main line to my unit and have not spent more than a few days in the unit for a period of 1 month, I have to pay ~$90 for water, sewer and trash. Here’s how it breaks down:

Allocated Water Service $14.40
Submetered Water Service 13 units @ 0.050111 per unit $0.65
Allocated Sewer Service $43.41
Trash Base Fee $25.00
Service Fee $3.25

So, for a few flushes, a little laundry and dishes at 13 units worth of water consumption, I had to pay not $.65 but $90. And, no, I never use the trash service, which is (in my opinion) a ridiculous amenity we are forced to pay for.

Lessons learned that I impart to you: Always find out how utilities are handled by the association, whether you are renting or buying a condo or townhouse. Avoid, if you can, anything that divvy’s things up by total number of units and estimated costs, especially if you are like me and are never there. Always check for hidden or flat fees to be sure you understand your full financial commitment, above the cost of the lease/mortgage.

My condo fees had a base sewer of ~$30 with everything else metered and a $4 service fee. Average costs were $50 compared to a new average cost of ~$80. 😦

This complex that I am in right now, while nice, conveniently located and with the initial 4 month discount was an attractive rental, but is now an annoying financial sink hole. I can not wait to rid myself of that lease! Next time I’ll be more diligent and hopefully not have to find myself in this situation again. I hope the best for anyone else out there, too!

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About Audrey Sniezek

Audrey Sniezek is a rock climber, climbing coach, computer software/technology enthusiast and occasional baker/cook and wine connoisseur.
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