What is the name of your state? Maryland
When I first moved into my home about 3 years ago, I was told by the landlord that my water bill would be sent to his his house, and then after he reviewed it he was to send it on to me. It is also stated in the lease that he is do do this. Up until about a year ago, there had been no problems at all. About a year ago, however, I stopped receiving the water bill. I thought that perhaps the landlord had changed his policy without informing me and was paying it himself, and payed no further attention to the matter. However, yesterday I received a letter from the landlord stating that due to an "administrative error" my water bill had not been passed on to me as it should have been. After assuring me that it would not happen again, he demanded I pay the bill, which totals $177.88. That is equivalent to nearly a year's worth of water bill's plus late fee's. Attached to the letter was a shut-off notice from the City Of Baltimore, which provides our water.
My question is, am I responsible for this bill since the landlord's negligence not only caused me not to receive the bill, but also caused the bill to become seriously delinquent? Also, since it specifically states in the lease that he is to pass the bill on to us when he receives it wouldn't this be a breach of the lease, since he failed to fulfill his stated responsibility?