What to do if my landlord is not paying for water as required by the lease?

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What to do if my landlord is not paying for water as required by the lease?

My lease says the landlord pays for water/sewer. We are still paying rent. We now have a shut off notice on the door due to non payment of water bill. The water company says they can’t help us. The property manager says to take the notice down and forget it. I do not have money to move even if I can legally get out of the lease. How can I enforce the lease?

Asked on September 21, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

By going down to landlord tenant court and starting an action against the landlord and asking the court to allow you to pay your rent in to court or pay the bill in lieu (instead) of the rent.  landlord tenant court is filled with pro se plaintiffs (plaintiffs representing themselves) and the Judge's are used to the issues.  I would take the notice down and hold on to it as proof.  But do not forget it.  The landlord has breached the lease agreement and if the water is shut off has created an uninhabitable condition.  And name the management company in the suit as well. Since it is unclear who is on the lease and who runs the place for paying bills, etc., you need to make sure you have everyone. Good luck.


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