Do I have to pay a water bill after I move out if there is no lease?

UPDATED: Dec 26, 2011

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Do I have to pay a water bill after I move out if there is no lease?

My landlord short sold the home I lived in last month. He’s claiming I still owe for the water bill he paid in order to close the sale of the home, even though we never had a lease and he forced me to move without giving 30 days notice. I paid for pool maintenance and landscaping, even though we never agreed who’s responsibility it was. Can he take me to small claims court over the $382 bill?

Asked on December 26, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Florida


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you did not have a lease agreement but had one at one point, then the terms of that previous lease agreement may be something that might come into play in court about what you were accustomed to paying. However, if your landlord did not give you proper notice, then your landlord breached the lease and you can sue the landlord for possibly not only your entire security deposit back but also moving expenses. Explain that short selling the home is not an excuse to his obligations to you. Unfortunately, if you did not agree that you would be covering pool maintenance and the like, those items may be seen as voluntary costs by you. As for the water bill, if the bill is not in your name, he will have to sue you for it. In the interim, see if your state or county has landlord tenant consumer protection divisions. If it does, contact the agencies who handle those issues; they may be able to issue a cease and desist letter to the landlord to make him simply walk away or better yet, pay you for your move.

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 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.

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