Do I owe the water bill of a previous occupant?

UPDATED: Oct 10, 2017

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Do I owe the water bill of a previous occupant?

My great uncle owned the house I just got off of him as a gift. My aunt lived there and accrued a $5000 water bill.

The water company says I am responsible for this bill. Am I responsible?

Asked on October 10, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Yes and no.
Yes, in the sense that the water company does not need to provide water to this address unless the unpaid bill for that location is cleared up: paid, or acceptable arrangements to pay made. The law does not require them to provide water to locations that have not paid their bills, regardless of current ownership.
No, in the sense that if your aunt ran up the bill and failed to pay it, you could sue her for the money; she may be held liable for it, if you choose.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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