Basically I finished up my rental contract in Finland and my landlord told me the water consumption was very high and that I need to pay an extraordinary payment of over €1500 for the course of a year. The landlord wishes to use my €1000 deposit to cover some of this bill as well as ask me for another payment to cover the rest. I understood from my contract that the water payment was paid wholly in advance through advance payments but the landlord says this is just the preliminary payment and the full amount is paid for at the end.
I looked into my rental contract again and there is the single statement made regarding the water:
‘The tenant make own electricity contract, and pays water consumption according to usage (advance payment 21 €/month.)’
It does say ‘according to usage’ which implies I might indeed be responsible for such a payment at the end of the year. However, I believe this is a matter of interpretation and when signing the agreement I understood the statement to mean that any payment I make for a water consumption is the act of using water which confers an advance payment of 21 euros per month for the following reasons:
A) why pay an advance payment for water only to pay more later? If I had used less water in the end than this payment of €21 each month made to the landlord covers, does it mean the landlord just profits from this advance payment for the water or returns the excess to me? There’s no mention of such a scenario in the contract. B) no mention of the cost of hot water or cold water anywhere in the contract (the word water appears only once in the whole contract). For electricity consumption from the national electricity suppliers/distributors I always knew the prices in advance. C) no mention of when a final water payment would be due (end of month or end of year) and when such a payment is expected to be paid. D) no mention of how to get in touch with water company in contract to check the meter reading. If this had been clear, I would have had it checked once a month and certainly not let it pile up to an extraordinary amount of over €1500 over the course of a year. E) the €21 advance payment is in the same ballpark as my current fare of advance payment for water which is a fixed fare, confirmed by my landlord in my new rental agreement.
I have asked the water company to check for a leak, check that the amount is recorded for a year only and for only my apartment in the building. They said all things checked out.
So, basically what I would like to ask the community is what do you think about my points A)-D) in response to why I should not be responsible for the bill?