Family Living 4 Less

Saving Money Without the Sacrifice!

Sometimes It Takes a Little Push…

Posted by flsquared on March 15, 2009

This winter has been a cold one.

We live in a renovated Victorian, split into 3 apartments.  Our landlord did most of the renovations himself.  You can tell it’s a rental as it looks pretty on the surface, but when you look close, you see that the tile is uneven, the cabinets are misaligned, and the insulation is lacking.  

Really lacking.

So much so that this winter the pipes burst in our bathroom ceiling.  Luckily, I was up nursing a newborn so we were able to turn off the water in the basement and minimize the damage.  Our landlord was great and repaired it all, and purchased a space heater to keep in the common area so that the pipes stay warmer.

At the same time, we had to put a space heater in the boys’ room since it was freezing in there at night.

Then we got our power bill.

Ouch!

Let’s just say that for the last 18 months, our power bill went from $40 to $175.  We started to triple-layer the boys’ pjs and used the gas heat.  We hung our clothes to dry, turned off lights and TV.  We got the bill down to $130.  

Still, ouch!

We called our landlord.  He came by and it turns out that the common area outlet is actually wired to our apartment!  We’ve been paying for the common area space heater!  

So he offered us $100.

Luckily, we had done our homework.  We had our bills for the last 18 months and he could easily see the difference that began as soon as he installed the heater.  After a little talking, my husband persuaded him to allow us to deduct the difference from last year and this year’s bills from our rent.  Yea!

My advice?  Make sure to keep bill records and if they start looking funky, take a stand.

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One Response to “Sometimes It Takes a Little Push…”

  1. Casperina said

    I agree, always a good idea to keep records.

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