If I am responsible for my water bill, am I also responsible for other charges that appear on the bill?

UPDATED: Nov 27, 2011

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: Nov 27, 2011Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I am responsible for my water bill, am I also responsible for other charges that appear on the bill?

I rent a house in which the lease states that I am responsible for the water bill. The landlord sends me a copy of a bill from the city and indicates that I owe the total that appears at the bottom. The charges listed on this bill are as follows – landfill user fee, recycling fee, public fire protection, sewer, stormwater, and water. Am I responsible for the total of that bill or only the water portion of it?

Asked on November 27, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Wisconsin


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Whether or not you are responsible for solely the water bill for the unit you are renting or are responsible for all designated charges on the utility bill that you have received from your landlord depends upon what the terms of the presumed written lease you signed states.

The written lease controls the obligations owed to you by the landlord to you and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law. You need to carefully read your written lease as to the specific charges you are responsible for on the water bill. If the charges are unclear and if the landlord drafted the lease, then any ambiguities in the agreement would be construed against the landlord and in your favor.

From what you have written, there is the possibility that you might be contractually obligated to pay the entirety of the utility bill's charges.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption