Paying for a Vacant Unit's Utilities

Maybe 5 years ago, I learned from a mistake and the hassle that went with it. I was asked by a tenant to come over to the apartment. We had a vacancy back then and has been vacant for quite a while. Upon reaching the apartment, we found the water meter of the vacant unit gone! Whoa! We later learned that the subdivision office confiscated the water meter since we've been remiss in paying for the vacancy's water bills for two months. Was the confiscation legal? I don't know. But it was certainly done to penalize our nonpayment. How did it come to this?

You see, the subdivision charges a monthly minimum amount for water - whether or not you consumed water. Yeah, bummer. The thing is, we do consume water in that vacancy, although minimally. Almost every week, we visit the apartment to water the small garden and therefore get water from the vacant unit. And we were always confident we could handle the monthly bills. Well, we didn't have problems with the amount. It's the frequency of paying that did us in. We would pay for 2 or 3 months at a time, because sometimes we'll be there on Sundays when there's no office. Honestly we didn't know the office would STILL go to that length of removing the meter even with a minimal amount. But hey, sh1t happens.

And so we had to pay for the re-installation fee to get the meter back. Lesson learned: be updated with your payments just as you expect your tenants to be updated with theirs.