Can I stop paying my tenant’s water bill?

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Can I stop paying my tenant’s water bill?

If a lease states, “The Landlord hereby agrees to cover the costs of water. If the cost of water increases over $100 tenant will be responsible for this utility from then on”. Is the landlord able to no longer pay the water bill ever again or rather is this legally binding for its purpose? I told my tenants that if the water bill went over $100 that I wouldn’t pay it anymore and they would.

Asked on March 30, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A lease agreement is a contract and if the parties enter in to the contract freely and negotiate the terms then it is binding on all parties, so long as it does not violate state law. I do not, however, think that this is a good way to handle the bill and the lease.  Either increase the rent to cover what you think the yearly charges for the water will be or have them pay the water bill themselves again, as long as it is legal in your state.  Good luck.


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