Does a tenanthave to pay for a plumbing back up?

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2011

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Does a tenanthave to pay for a plumbing back up?

Our land lord wants to charge us $100 for a plumbing back up that they claim was caused by us and our neighbors and I know without a doubt we did not have anything to do with it. Our contract states that we will only be held accountable in case of our negligence. This is what they are claiming but there is no way of knowing if it was us or the neighbors or possibly someone else in the complex I do not know how the sewer is run. We want to know if it is legal for them to charge us? Is it worth pursuing? this is in the state of ut

Asked on October 12, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Utah


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You are smart to have carefully read your written lease with your landlord over the dispute that you are writing about in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed to you and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

If the agreement states that you will be charged for the cost of the plumbing backup ($100.00) if you were negligent, then the landlord has the burden of proving that you caused the plumbing backup that needed fixing and that the cause of the the problem was the result of your negligence.

If your position is that you did not cause the problem, then you should stick by your position and no pay the charge.

Good luck.


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