Am I responsible for a water bill if my lease specifically says that it is the landlord’s responsiblity, no exceptions?

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Am I responsible for a water bill if my lease specifically says that it is the landlord’s responsiblity, no exceptions?

My landlord called me last week and told me that I had to pay the extra amount on their water bill because the utility company said it had come from my unit. Throughout the summer my kids played with the water outside. I was never told that I would be responsible for the use of my outside water. I have read the lease front to back several times and it specifically says that they are responsible for the water and I pay all other utilities. I just want to know if I have to pay that bill?

Asked on September 7, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Leases are contracts. If the lease states that you do not  pay water, you do not pay water. However, one thing to check: what *exactly* does the lease say? If it says, for example, that you are not responsible for the water "in" your unit, but the amount the landlord is seeking is in relation to water from an outside or common faucet, it may that  he could charge you for it--in that circumstance, you might be responsible since it's not the water in you unit that the children used. So double check what the lease says, because it will be the lease terms that determine what exactly your legal and financial obligations are. Good luck.


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