Am I obligated to pay a water bill from a previous owner?

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Am I obligated to pay a water bill from a previous owner?

I own a house and I have a new renter that’s moving into my home. When calling to transfer the water in the tenants name the water company now says there’s a $300 delinquent water bill from a previous owner. It was two owners before me. There was never a lien put on the house when I bought it and this is the first that they notified me of this bill. I’ve had continuing service in the house for 3 years now. They have now said the water will be turned off until it is paid. Am I obligated to pay this bill from a previous owner?

Asked on October 13, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This certainly sounds odd that it took so long to catch up with the bill and it sounds a bit fishy as well.  What you need to do first and fast is to file a complaint with the entity that regulates the water company in Ohio.  It may be listed on the bill itself.  Otherwise try the Public Utilities Commission (called PUCO I believe for Public Utilities Commission of Ohio) or go to www.ohio.gov and do a search of the site for contact information.  You can file a consuler complaint and they will help you get to the bottom of the problem.  3 years is a long time here.  Good luck.


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