Real Estate Law
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If you have a lease agreement or contract, the terms of it would govern who is responsible for what. But, if you don't have a contract or if it doesn't address this issue, the general rule is that the homeowner is responsible for any problems from the meter to the residence and the property owner or utility company is responsible for the meter box and beyond.
As for the hot water heater, if it wasn't installed properly, the person who installed it wrong should be liable.