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non payment of utilities

The city in which I live and own a rental, claims I am responsible for a water bill my tenant did not pay. The account is in the tenants name only, but the city claims I am responsible because I own the property. I maintain I cannot be held responsible because the account is not in my name. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.    Dale.

Unfortunately most cities hold landlords liable for tenant water bills, because it's easy to collect from landlords (they just attach a lien to the leased property) whereas it's nearly impossible to collect from deadbeat tenants. My rental properties are in Baltimore, and what I do is pay the water myself, and bill the tenants for it. If they don't pay, I can take them to court for it as if they hadn't paid rent.
If you listed in your lease that payment must be kept up to date on the water bill, and she has not done that, then she is in violation of the lease and you can serve a "perform or quit" notice to her.
I don’t believe that the contract has to state that the utility has to be “kept up to date.” As long as your contract with tenant states that tenant is responsible for utilities, you can serve tenant with a Notice and possibly Eviction…..Also, in most cases landlord is responsible for the garbage bill, not the water bill, unless it’s a multi unit with out individual meters. Check with the city/water dept. .  -----Disclaimer: Since I’ve been answering a lot of questions, I thought I would make the following statement. I’m not affiliated with EZlandlord Forms. I’m just here (not sure how long) to help those that have questions. Having 40+ yrs with Rental Property and done well, it’s my way of “Pay it Forward (check out the movie).” However, it is up to you to become familiar with your State/Local laws. I always like to know if the suggestions I offer are helpful. Feel free to comment anytime. Thanks in Advance. BTW...check out the Rental Property Organizer at Free Trial Download with data.
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