Our landlord did not pay the water bill even though the tenants were all given notices, by the water co. at the beginning of last month. Today was the shut off day and they were here to shut it off but had to come back to find the correct box. I paid the bill but he still owes money and this will very likely happen again next month. Can legal action be taken against him for this? He had the property manager tell the tenants that it would be paid.
Give him an opportunity to pay you back for the bill if he doesnt pay in 7 calendar days tell him you are going to file a claim against him in municipal court for the bill. You may do that yourself or hire an attorney and the landlord will be forced to pay the attorneys bill if that is stated in your lease
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Employment / Labor Attorney
The landlord's interference with your water usage is a breach of your quiet enjoyment of the lease and may violate other lease provisions as well. You may give the landlord written notice that you are withholding the amount you paid for the water bill from the next rent payment unless he reimburses you beforehand. (Just be sure it is money he actually owed). It is not feasible to take legal action to compel him to pay the bill, but if he would attempt to take action against you for withholding the money from your rent, it seems to me you should have a pretty solid defense.
A full legal opinion and firm recommendations can only take place in a formal consultation with an attorney. These are my general thoughts given the limited information presented and for the purposes of this online forum only. No attorney/client relationship exists.