If my water line breaks in the ground and spills $1000of water into the ground, who is repsonsible for the water bill?

UPDATED: Aug 31, 2011

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If my water line breaks in the ground and spills $1000of water into the ground, who is repsonsible for the water bill?

The landlord did get the city to cut the bill in half but i am getting stuck with the 500 dollar bill. I did help repair this line and they reduced my rent by $60. When repairing this water line I noticed that the water line had obviously broken on 3 other occasions because it was coupled together 3 times within an 18 inch section. Is what they are doing right or are they responsible for the water bill or even a portion of it.

Asked on August 31, 2011 Missouri


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you are responsible for the water bill is determined by the terms of the written lease (assuming you have one) between the landlord and yourself in that its terms and conditions control the obligations owed by you to the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

If the landlord is obligated to make repairs in the property rented and a water line broke where a lot of water was lost at great cost, then most likely the landlord is responsible for the water bill not used for normal household purposes. If the water line had been repaired in the past and the landlord had made the repairs, then the landlord should be responsible for the entire increased water bill since he or she was on notice of the problem well before you were and proper corrections should have been made.

Good question.

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