What are a tenant’s rights regarding when their water bill is paidif the bill is in their name?

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What are a tenant’s rights regarding when their water bill is paidif the bill is in their name?

ICan my landlord have my water turned off because we don’t pay it in his timeframe? Is it legal for him to see our bill whenever he wants and to know how much it is at all times? In the past 3 months he shut off our water before the shut off date because he wants us to pay the bill when he says. Someone help us out.

Asked on July 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Mexico

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written rental agreement or lease with your landlord for the property being rented, its express terms would control. However, when there are problems such as water shut-off by your landlord done intentionally at his direction, issues concerning health and safety arise.

For the landlord to have your water shut off for the property you are renting even though the water bill is on your name is improper. Shutting off the water when the rent bill is not paid in the time frame he wants is retaliatory and wrongful.

You might want to meet with the housing department in the county where you live about this particular conduct.

As to the landlord's desire to see the monthly water bill for the property you are renting, such a request is reasonable if a copy is sent to him or her monthly. After all, he does own the property, water may be in short supply and there may be a realistic desire to see the amount of usage.


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