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If we rent a duplex and there is only one water meter in the landlord's name, who is responsible for the water bill?

Cleveland, OH |

There was a leaky faucet that we requested to be fixed, the landlord got a huge water bill and now is demanding we pay the whole bill. We told him no and he wants to take us to court.

5 college guys renting up & down duplex. Other utilities billed individually per unit, however, water bill is one and in landlord's name. Only one water meter for both units. Our lease says we are responsible for water, but how do we know how much we really consume?
can he legally take us to court?

Attorney Answers 1

  1. you are responsible for water
    the lease says so

    if Landlord is responsible for all maintenance
    if Landlord was notified of the problem and did not fix
    then the water should be allocated accordingly (of course, has to be a guesstimate because you cannot determine how much water leaked after notice of leak)

    lots of Landlords split water bills between tenants
    with a residential unit like yours
    the most fair way is to divide by five and allocate between up&down

    yes Landlord can take you to Court
    i doubt that will happen