Is a new owner responsible for an old water bill?

UPDATED: Nov 13, 2012

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Is a new owner responsible for an old water bill?

I purchased a home about 2 weeks ago. I contacted the city water department to have them turn off the water and send the final bill to the last tenant. They informed me that they disconnected the water at that location 2 years ago. They informed me that they would come out and read the meter and send me the final bill, which is over $2,000. I informed them that I am not the responsible party as I did not ask for service back then;they need to forward the last bill to the party that asked for the service. They informed me that since I am the new owner of the home, I am responsible for payment. Is this correct? Is this legal for them to do?

Asked on November 13, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unless there is a recorded water bill lien for the property that you have written about that you just bought you are not responsible for the past water bill of the prior owner of the property that you acquired. Assuming you are, then the former owner needs to reimburse you for any payment for such.

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