Who is responsible for the water/utility bill?

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Who is responsible for the water/utility bill?

My tenant put the account under his name and then didn’t pay the rent or the bills for over 6 months. Eventually I was able to vacant the tenant but he left the property without paying the water and utility bills. Who is responsible for those bills?

Asked on October 1, 2011 under Real Estate Law, New Jersey

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In order to answer your question you need to carefully read the written lease (assuming you have one) regarding the unit that was rented out to your tenant in that its terms and conditions control the obligations that the tenant owed to you and vice versa in the absence of conflicitng state law.

If there is a written provision in the lease regarding water and utility charges its provisions will control. If the tenant was responsible for paying the water and utility charges under the written lease or any oral agreement then it is the tenant's responsibility to make good to you on the amount owed.

If this is the case, it seems like a small claims action is in order.

Good luck.


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