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Running toilet - who pays?

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What is the name of your state?
Hello, I just had a tenant move into my single family house. My bill for $60 days within the last year was usually $40- $60. Now I am receiving the first water bill issued since the tenant is there for almost $300 (60 days). I am shocked. I assume that is the one toilet that keeps on running, if one does not make sure that the flush handle goes all the way back up in position. If that caused the water usage and the tenant did not pay attention to it. Who pays the bill? I, as the landlord pay the water bill, but not if she just is careless with the usage.
Thank so much for your input.
Happy Holidays

I've had bills double because of a running toilet, but to be 5 times higher than usual.......I would be highly suspicious of something other than just a toilet. Start by fixing all fo the toilets in the unit. Flush, put some food coloring in the toilet, and you can easily see if there's any leakage. It's then normally very inexpensive to replace the offending parts.

Other than that, I'd have a serious chat with the tenant. Is that for one unit? I pay that for a 4-plex for 3 months. That amount of water usage is like a really drippy faucet or two, or something left on. Do they have pets? I have a friend who leaves a faucet on 24/7 for her cat.

That's a ridiculous amount of water usage over what is normal! There must be some cause for it - which, if it were my property, I'd get to the bottom of right quick.

Now, as to your question about who is liable..........unless you can prove some specific neglegence and your lease says you'll pay utilities, you will probably be stuck with the bill. Heck, until I started being responsible for things like paying a water bill I never would have noticed a running toilet.

What does your lease say, specifically? And what does your lease say about you being able to change the terms?

Karla in Amarillo


Schwippsy said:
...if one does not make sure that the flush handle goes all the way back up in position.
by your own admission, the toilet is broken. if push comes to shove, you will probably be responsible for at least part of that water bill.


let me clarify my position a bit...

...based on the "tone" i inferred from your post, you know about the handle-jiggle thing before the tenant moved in. therefore you should be responsible for the running water.

however, if the tenant knew it was broken and did not report it to you, then they should also be responsible.

what i'm getting at is depending on who knew what, the blame should probably be split.

note that if the lease says that water is included, you're probably screwed.


Senior Member
Schwippsy said:
What is the name of your state?
I, as the landlord pay the water bill, but not if she just is careless with the usage.
Want to bet? Unless there are specific provisions in the lease that the tenant signed, then you will not only pay the bill, but also give your tenants grounds to break the lease AND sue you if you don't and the water is cut off.

Welcome to the wonderful world of landlording :D


$300 over 60 days is more than a toilet running. Sounds like there might be a leak in your supply line. Fix the toilet and look for other leaks.

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