Jul 09, 2012
New law ends landlord-utility feud over unpaid bills
09 Jul 2012
Posted by Andrew Kantor
Here’s a beautiful example of how we work behind the scenes for you. For a long time, landlords have been upset that, if tenants leave without paying their water bills, the public water company demands the money from the landlord — and can put a lien on the house.
Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
Of course, the local governments argue that they’re limited by law as to how much of a security deposit they can request from a tenant. They’re getting stuck with the leftover bill, and you can’t really put a lien on some college kid’s 1998 Dodge.
VAR to the rescue.
We lobbied for a bill that found a reasonable compromise: While local governments can still put a lien on a property for a tenant’s unpaid water bill, they are now allowed to require a larger security deposit — one that should cover most outstanding bills.
There’s an article in Lawyers Weekly about this (it’s behind a paywall, so see FAAR’s reprint instead), which is a clue that this isn’t something most people will hear about. But it’s a great example of how our lobbying efforts pay off for members — in this case, landlords and property managers.