Is ourlandlady responsible to reimburse us on our water bill for a leak that pre-dated our tenancy?

UPDATED: Jul 27, 2011

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Is ourlandlady responsible to reimburse us on our water bill for a leak that pre-dated our tenancy?

We moved about 9 months ago and our water bills were $200 for 2 months. This differed from our previous rental by $40. When we received our latest bill we began to question the cost. We discovered that a pipe under the house was leaking. Our landlady quickly had the leak fixed, and we are working with the water companyto have our bills adjusted. Our bill should be about $60 for 2months. Since the leak was pre-existing should the landlady be responsible reimburse us the difference between what is “normal” usage and what we paid?

Asked on July 27, 2011 Oregon


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In all fairness, your landlord should reimburse you for money that you paid on your water bill that pre-dated your tenancy and perhaps the difference beyond normal use when there is no leak. You rented the property with the undertanding that there were no leaking pipes. You found a leaking pipe after move in under the house which is not an area that a possible tenant looks at before renting the place they are looking to rent.

If the landlord want you to remain as a tenant, he or she should pay for the excess water use due to a leak in the  property's pipes before you even rented the property.


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