Landlord Chronicles: Who Pays The Utilities?

In a rental property…who is responsible for the water, gas, electric, and other municipal utilities??

The short answer is…whoever is responsible via the lease? Thats’s why it’s important to have a thorough lease that protects you from the sometimes annoying games tenants play.

Check out this article to see what Indiana
Attorney General Curtis Hall had to say about landlords being held responsible for the bills of their tenants


  1. Agreed. I bought a multi-unit property two months ago and I did my due diligence and read through the leases after the previous owner told me that all utilities were payed by the tenant. Sure enough, I realized that I did not pay any water bills for a vacant unit. I ended up finding out that the property has ONE meter for the building after calling the city. I reverted back to the leases as it did say the tenants were responsible for utilities, but unfortunately I missed the very very fine print where it only said gas and electric.

    1) Don’t listen to sellers. Even though I had the intent to perform the correct due diligence, I somehow took the checked utilities box for ALL utilities paid by the tenant

    2) Landlords can be held responsible for utility bills depending on the jurisdiction. For example: In DC, a lien will be assessed on the property if there is an outstanding water bill.