Am I responsible for an increased water bill from my landlords busted sprinklers.

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Am I responsible for an increased water bill from my landlords busted sprinklers.

We have been renting a house in
Hewitt TX since October 2016. October
and November our water bill was 85
per month. In December our bill went to
425 and we realized his automatic
sprinkler system that came on from 2
am until 5 am had busted and was
draining water. From then I unplugged
the system, however the months of
January and the bill we just received
have each been 250. Our landlord in
December said he would pay 250 of it
to help out. We have since paid over
500 over a couple months to keep
from our water being shut off. Are we
responsible for this or do we have
recourse against our landlord?

Thank you

Skylar

Asked on February 7, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You are responsible if you were at fault: that is, if you damaged the sprinklers, causing the leak (e.g. "mowed over" a sprinkler head; damaged a pipe while a plumber you hired was doing work; etc.) or if it should have been quickly obvious that there was a problem (e.g. when you went out in the morning, there were large standing pools of water, or there was water in the basement, which would indicate a leak) but you failed to notify your landlord, thus not giving him a chance to correct the problem. 
If you were not at fault, you were not liable; and if you are not liable and your landlord improperly takes money from your security deposit, yoiu could sue for its return.


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