If a renter doesn’t pay the water bill and the water company removes the meter, can the home owner be charged to have it re-installed?

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If a renter doesn’t pay the water bill and the water company removes the meter, can the home owner be charged to have it re-installed?

Asked on September 27, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

What happens on or to a premises is always - at first instance - viewed to be the responsibility of the owner.  They are the ones that are ultimately liable for the taxes and water charges, even if they assign their responsibility over to a tenant in a lease.  They have an unwritten "contract" with the city, county and state so to speak once they purchase the property.  The county has no contract with the renter.  So yes, they ca charge you.  Now the question becomes can you charge the money back to the renter in some way or sue the renter for breach of their contract, the lease agreement. That is their position to figure out.  Good luck.


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