Michael Rosa, Real Estate Pro in Katy, TX

Who pays the bill?

Asked by Michael Rosa, Katy, TX Wed Mar 20, 2013

Water pipe broke on the outside of the house. (Underground. No negligence.) As soon as landlord was notified, (2 weeks) landlord takes immediate steps to repair the pipe. Tenant wants landlord to pay ENTIRE water bill, because water bill is excessively high. Landlord states it is tenant's responsibility because landlord did repairs as soon as landlord was notified. WHO PAYS?

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We had a similar issue, which was resolved to everyone's satisfaction. Assuming that the City of Houston is the supplier, do the following:

Contact Public Utilities and let them know what happened. They'll see the excessive bill, and will require you to furnish documentation of the repair. The water usage will be monitored for the next two months ... and after it drops to normal levels, the account holder will be issued a refund or credit. Whoever usually pays the bill has to fork over the excessive amount ... but if it's the result of a burst pipe or other non-negligent incident, all will work out over the following months. I hoe this helps.

Al Geffon
(713) 213-6350
al@geffon.net
Web Reference: http://www.har.com/algeffon
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 20, 2013
This sounds like a legal question. Maybe get with an attorney to review.

I would suggest the tenant pay the bill as it is likely in their name and this does not effect their credit down the road. Document everything and then speak to an attorney or take the landlord to small claims court. Maybe they could speak to the water company as well.

Mark McNitt
m 832-567-4357
Bernstein Realty, Inc.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 20, 2013
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