But a recent change of policy means the burden is back where it belongs: on the tenant.
Instead of penalizing landlords who have very little control over whether a tenant pays their bills, the city will increase tenant water deposits and may hook up with a collection agency to bring in the revenue shortfall caused by delinquent water bills, according to a report in the News & Record.
The city is finding that the shortfall for unpaid water in rental properties is equivalent to delinquencies in owner-occupied homes, according to the report. The city can still lien those properties.
Higher deposits from tenants already has helped reduce delinquencies. The water department reports it often gets paid on delinquent bills after the tenant tries to sign up for water in a new apartment.
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