If I’m a tenant and had a pipe leak underground for about 6 weeks, who pays for the excessive wasted water caused by this leak?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I’m a tenant and had a pipe leak underground for about 6 weeks, who pays for the excessive wasted water caused by this leak?

The water bill is in my name and I have always paid my water bill on time. The leak was caused by normal wear and tear due to the age of the home and not by anything that I did.

Asked on December 9, 2015 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

A tenant is not liable for costs caused by actions, events, or damage beyond his/her control, and is not responsible for investigating underground utilities. You also write that the landlord was notified of the leak, so you gave them warning and they refused to act on it. Finally, a person, including a tenant, can recover costs they incurred due to another party's, such as a landlord's, failure to act in a reasonable fashion. Therefore, based on what you write, you have a good claim for having the landlord pay the excess water bill, but would have to sue him/her to get the money if he/she will not voluntarily pay it; you have no right to withhold money from your rent for this, but have to get the money from the court if the landlord won't pay.

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