What you need to know to reduce your risk.
Recently, we were informed of at least seven class-action lawsuits filed against apartment community operators and owners in Texas. These lawsuits arising out of alleged improper water billing practices can be financially devastating to communities across Texas. According to John Sepehri, TAA General Council, “This may be the leading edge of a growing spate of lawsuits.”
According to a recent TAA article, “Recent class action lawsuits take aim at apartment community operators over water and drainage charges” By John Sepehri, TAA General Counsel, states there are three categories of alleged water code/regulation violations:
· In one set of claims, the class-action representatives assert violations of the Texas Water Code based on an allegedly illegal one-time “Water Connection Fee” or “Account Activation Fee” imposed at move-in
· In a second set of related claims, the class plaintiffs allege that owners/operators charged them excessive fees for late payment of water bills, in violation of the Water Code and their lease agreements
· The third set of claims involve allegations that owners/operators have improperly charged monthly “Drainage Fees” intended to recoup costs of storm water or drainage charges
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, we encourage you to reach out to your local apartment association right away because this is money you can control!
Meanwhile, at Water Works we understand hiring, training, managing and successfully maintaining a staff that is proficient in utility billing can be a hindrance to your day-to-day operations. Ensuring your on-site staff is proficient in ever-changing utility regulations requires time, money and resources- and as noted above, arbitration can be catastrophic! That’s why having us manage your critical utility-billing processes, including revenue cycle management, helps put your property on stable ground with less risk.
Follow us on Twitter @WaterWorksofTx
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WaterWorksofTexas