If a lease does not specify that you have to pay water can a landlord make you pay it?

UPDATED: Nov 3, 2011

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If a lease does not specify that you have to pay water can a landlord make you pay it?

Lived in apartment for 2 1/2 years. Landlord never said we had to switch the water to our name. We moved out two months ago. She called today and said that we have to pay the $881 from the water bill (never in lease; never was sent a bill in the 2 1/2 years.)

Asked on November 3, 2011 under Real Estate Law, Indiana


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your written lease with your landlord does not state that you are responsible for the water bill for the unit you are renting, then most likely you are not. The reason is that the written lease agreement that you have controls the obligations owed to you by the landlord and vice versa in the absence of conflicting state law.

I would write the landlord stating your position that you do not owe any part of the water bill and the reasons for your position. Keep a copy of the letter for future use. The failure of the landlord to ever send you a bill for the water service all these years is evidence that you are not responsible for this utility charge. Good luck.

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