Who is responsible for a water bill after an outdoor leak – the landlord or tenant?

We had a water leak at the property line near the meter; it was on the house side of meter. I notified the land lord immediately he promptly had it fixed I notified the water company but received a bill for $2,500. After speaking with them they agreed to adjust it to $1,100 the typical bill is $30.

Asked on October 13, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Tennessee


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Good question. In order to ascertain the obligation for the excessive water bill due to a leak, you need to carefully read your written lease with your landlord (assuming you have one) in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

Look carefully regarding who is obligated to make repairs and do maintenance to the rental as well as who is to pay the water bill. If the landlord is responsible for making repairs and doing maintenance to the rental, then he or she should be obligated to pay the water bill that became so high due to the leak regardless if you are obligated to pay for the water bill.

Good luck.

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