Do I owe the water bill of a previous occupant?

My great uncle owned the house I just got off of him as a gift. My aunt lived there and accrued a $5000 water bill.

The water company says I am responsible for this bill. Am I responsible?

Asked on October 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes and no.
Yes, in the sense that the water company does not need to provide water to this address unless the unpaid bill for that location is cleared up: paid, or acceptable arrangements to pay made. The law does not require them to provide water to locations that have not paid their bills, regardless of current ownership.
No, in the sense that if your aunt ran up the bill and failed to pay it, you could sue her for the money; she may be held liable for it, if you choose.


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