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utilities by quark (pa) on September 10, 2009 @18:37

in pa the LL is responsible for payment of water & sewage on his rental property. if you have a tenant who refuses to pay these costs (the lease says he will) & the LL does not pay them will the utility co. shut off the service to the rental?

must the LL evict the tenant & then go after the money in court?

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Re: utilities by Ultimate M-Bone on September 10, 2009 @21:34 [ Reply ]
Does the water/sewer bill get mailed to the tenants or to you and you give them the bill? Not sure if that would make a difference. But here in Oh. where I am from. Water also is owners responsibility, can not have it in tenants name, but can have it mailed to occupants of the rental for them to pay it. If tenant or no one for that matter pays the bill, eventually they will receive a shut off notice and will be stut off if tenant does not pay that bill by the date of that notice.

I would not pay their bill. You can send a notice to them to pay it, not sure if it gives you legal grounds to evict, it should. I have heard we can evict them for that, but I don't know since I have never tried it, except coupled with non-payment of rent given for cause.

Re: utilities by Laura (PA) on September 10, 2009 @22:37 [ Reply ]
I am in PA and yes, we must provide water and sewage, but we know how much the water company charges per month for XX amount of water, so we can just add that amount to the rent to cover that cost. HOWEVER, in my lease--which is an LPA lease by the way---I add the clause that if the water bill is ever over that certain amount, it is the tenants responsibility to pay the overage. Very rarely does anyone go over the 3000 gallon per month standard, but it is good to know that is IS LEGAL to charge for this, and yes, if the tenant fails to pay they CAN be evicted for the lease violation----after all, why should I have to pay for water I don't use.
But BEWARE, you cannot just put the water in the tenants name and assume they will pay....if you do that and they don't pay, YOU are still responsible for the bill. So it is just easier to leave it in your name and add the standard amount to the rent with the clause that anything over $XX is the tenants responsibility.
Also remember, if you let the water be shut off it could be construed as a constructive eviction and then you could be in trouble. Either way, the water is the landlord's responsibility, just make sure you have a lease that covers your butt for any deadbeat you may get.
Re: utilities by Susan on September 11, 2009 @09:28 [ Reply ]
I have the same problem. where I live, the town sends the bill to the property owner. I am responsible. I put a separate water meter in for each apartment. I estimated the usage ( @ $7.70/thousand gallons) at about $30.00 per month. I have that paid monthly as added rent. in april & october , i read the meter, and reimburse them for overages they paid, or they owe me for extra usage. Usually they get a rebate. #1, they know they are paying and are therefore not wasteful. #2 i can even assess the water usage monthly, if I think the $30 will not cover it. I was burned once by a girl who did 5 or 6 loads DAILY for herself, husband, and daughter....Never again. The water bill is still in my name, but I can keep it under control with careful monitoring. It is also stated in the rental agreement that the rate charged by the town is subject to change without notice. As for your current problem, the city probably would shut off the water. I would imagine that tenant would either pay it, or move due to no water. At that point, if they move, take them to small claims to get water bill $$$$ back. Or, if they cause a fuss and say the place is uninhabitable because of no water, again I think they would not have a leg to stand on because they were supposed to pay for it as per rental agreement, and they breached the agreement. Any way you slice it, it boils down to THEM not paying the bill.... & causing the shut-off.
Re: utilities by Mr. Wong on September 12, 2009 @20:39 [ Reply ]
No way around it. You cut off water you in big trouble.

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