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Good afternoon,I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.
While the water bill may be in the name of the tenant, if the bill is unpaid it becomes the legal obligation of the property owner to pay the bill. And in many instances if it is not paid by the owner, it can result in a utility lien being placed against the property that will encumber the property.
Your only realistic remedy---since you have to be able to offer water service to a new tenant, is to pay for the bill and then sue the past tenant for breach of contract and collect the debt back from them.
I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.If you have additional questions, you may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.Would you please take a moment to positively rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided by clicking on the rating stars---three stars or more. It is that easy. That is the way I am compensated for having helped you.Thank you in advance. I wish you the best in your future,Doug