Skip Navigation Links

  November 2006 Question:Do I have to pay a former tenants water bill? -Click Here for More Articles-   

Managing Renter Debts: Landlord Obligations and Resources
by Lisa Wells

Question: A couple of months ago, I evicted some tenants at one of my properties in Reno. The tenants left the property in horrible condition and with over $5000 in damage. I began to repair the unit only to discover that they had left a huge water bill. The water bureau is now telling me that I owe the money and won’t turn it on until it’s paid. What can I do to get the water back on without paying someone else’s bill?

Answer:  Landlords are generally not responsible for a tenant’s water bill. Utilities do not hold a landlord responsible for a previous resident's bill unless there's some evidence that the landlord obtains benefits from water usage. We recommend that you visit your local water company, in person, with a copy of the lease and the eviction order. This contract will validate your assertion. If this does not fix your problem, see your state's utility commission. As a last resort, use an attorney.

Additionally, does provide bad debt reporting services – if a renter leaves your property and still owes you money, you can report their debt through our website to all three credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and Transunion. This means the renter’s debt to you will appear on their individual credit report until the debt is settled with you. See for more details.

We also have a contributory database that allows landlords and property managers to create Tenant Report Cards on renters, and to update those report cards at the end of the renter’s lease. Renters in our system that have a history of evictions or not paying rent will be flagged when you run a criminal or credit report on a new applicant. For more information, please visit

As always, information in this article is not intended to be used, and should not be used, as legal, tax or accounting advice. Investors should seek advice from an independent financial advisor about their specific situation.


About Landlord2Landlord
Landlord2Landlord ( is a residential tenant screening company that partners with property management companies and homeowner associations to help


  PRESS RELEASES:  Landlord2Landlord Partners with Internet-Based Community Network Provider - Neighborhood Link PRIVACY STATEMENT | CONTACT US 
About L2L
L2L Press Releases
L2L Affiliations
Success Stories
Tenant Screening
Pre-Employment Screening
Collection Services
Tenant Report Cards
Bureau Debt Reporting
In-House Processing
Credit Reports
Criminal Reports
Criminal Records Statistics
Courthouse Records
Courthouse Records Statistics
Credit Decisioning Services
Decisioning Benefits
Decisioning Features
L2L Membership
Why L2L
Small Apartment Owners
Large Apartment Owners
National/Regional Companies
Operating From Residence
Property Mgmt. Companies
Security Requirements
Business Requirements
Join Us
News & Resources
FCRA Compliance
For Employers
Fair Credit Reporting Act
Fair Credit Collections Act
FCRA Obligations
Consumer Credit Rights
Consumer Credit FAQs
Fixing Your Credit
Sharing Your Information
Consumer Fair Credit Probe
Credit Abuse Liability
Fair Credit Information Act
Tenant Screening
Rental Application Screening
Rental Eviction History
Credit Reporting
Reduce Property Damage
Recover Uncollected Rent
Bad Debts to Credit Bureaus
End Renter Fraud
Renter Qualifications Report
Criminal Background Checks
Credit Information
Rental Property Risk Management
Landlord Services
Employment Verification