When you move into a new home, you have a lot of responsibilities as a tenant. Paying the water bill might be one of them. However, sometimes the water is inlcuded in the rent and there are certain situations where you shouldn't have to pay for your water. We point out those sitatuations below and how to approach your landlord about them.
Do I pay for water or does my landlord?
Refer back to the lease that you and your landlord have agreed on. Check if the water bill is included in your monthly rent. If the lease states that the tenant is responsible for all the utilities associated with the property, then the water bill is the tenant's responsibility. If the tenant does not pay the monthly water bill, if the bill is not included in the rent, then they are breaching the tenancy agreement.
What if my pipes leak or break?
Owners pay for the water when pipes leak or break. The agreement requires the tenant to pay for water that was used by the tenant, not for any water that was lost because of bad pipe conditions. State laws require plumbing to be in good condition. Take pictures of the leaking or broken pipes and send them to your landlord. (Note: This is if you're renting the property only. If you now are responsible for the mortgage on your home, you may still be responsible to fix and pay for the pipes depending on if they were broken before you bought it, if you documented and reported the damage properly, and if you scheduled a home inspection before buying the home.)
How can I lower my water bill?
Water bills can get expensive fast if you're not careful. Make sure you're monitoring how much water you use. You may be using too much if your water bill is really high. To lower your water bill, try to time yourself in the shower. If you're taking really long showers, challenge yourself to lower that time every time. Turn off the faucet when you're not using it. Change your shower head to a more efficient one. Run full loads of clothes and dishes when using the washer and the dishwasher. If you need some motiviation to change your water useage habits: "The average person in the United States uses 80 to 100 gallons of water each day," according to Save The Water. Therefore, finding more efficient ways to use your water will not only lower your water bill, but it's also good for the environment.
We hope this helps shed some light on who is responsible for the water bill. Usually, you are responsible for the water bill, unless it's included in your rent or your pipes are leaking or broken. Check your lease and communicate with your landlord to be sure.