Tenant Rights Regarding Utility Bills

by James Safonov
New legislation was passed permitting tenants to pay their water, sewer and garbage bills when the owner fails to make payments.
Dirty waterOnce an owner defaults on the utilities the rental property receives a legal posting that the services will be terminated and/or the property will have a lien recorded.
To prevent the loss of vital water, sewer and garbage services the tenant may now contact the provider, make direct payments and deduct the expense from the rent.
This is a law that is well overdue–as a property manager we receive panicked calls from tenants who have had their services terminated due to owner non payment.
We then are forced to work in over drive to generate a check from the owner’s reserve to expedite a direct payment. If the owner has zero funds on hand the delay can be a few days. This law is a nice benefit for the tenants I manage in Sacramento, Roseville, Natomas, Antelope and beyond.
James Safonov is a property manager with HomePointe in Sacramento, California.  You can reach James at j[email protected]HomePointe provides full service property management, leasing, accounting, and maintenance.
See James Safonov’s feature, Rents Continue to Fall.
American Apartment Owners Association offers discounts on products and services for landlords related to your commercial housing investment including REAL ESTATE FORMS, tenant debt collection, tenant background checks, insurance and financing. Find out more at www.joinaaoa.org. 

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