Do I have to pay a water bill after I move out if there is no lease?

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Do I have to pay a water bill after I move out if there is no lease?

My landlord short sold the home I lived in last month. He’s claiming I still owe for the water bill he paid in order to close the sale of the home, even though we never had a lease and he forced me to move without giving 30 days notice. I paid for pool maintenance and landscaping, even though we never agreed who’s responsibility it was. Can he take me to small claims court over the $382 bill?

Asked on December 26, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you did not have a lease agreement but had one at one point, then the terms of that previous lease agreement may be something that might come into play in court about what you were accustomed to paying. However, if your landlord did not give you proper notice, then your landlord breached the lease and you can sue the landlord for possibly not only your entire security deposit back but also moving expenses. Explain that short selling the home is not an excuse to his obligations to you. Unfortunately, if you did not agree that you would be covering pool maintenance and the like, those items may be seen as voluntary costs by you. As for the water bill, if the bill is not in your name, he will have to sue you for it. In the interim, see if your state or county has landlord tenant consumer protection divisions. If it does, contact the agencies who handle those issues; they may be able to issue a cease and desist letter to the landlord to make him simply walk away or better yet, pay you for your move.


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