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SB 1189 Water and sewer services; liens, owners, lessees, or tenants.
SUMMARY AS PASSED SENATE: (all summaries)
Water and sewer services; liens; owners, lessees, or tenants. Separates Code provisions regarding water and sewer services provided to lessees or tenants of real property from Code provisions regarding water and sewer services provided to owners of real property. The bill removes a locality's authority to waive a required written authorization by an owner for water or sewer services provided by a locality to a lessee or tenant. A copy of the lease between the lessee or tenant and the owner is acceptable authorization.
The bill provides that no lien can be placed on the property of an owner when a lessee or tenant has delinquent fees for water or sewer charges until the locality has made reasonable collection efforts and practices, including (i) applying the security deposit to the payment of the outstanding balance and (ii) either filing for the Setoff Debt Collection Program (§ 58.1-520 et seq.) or placing the account with a debt collection service. A lien against the lessee or tenant shall rank on a parity with a lien for unpaid taxes. When a locality does not require a security deposit from a lessee or tenant to obtain water and sewer services, the locality shall waive its lien rights against the property owner.
The bill also authorizes the locality or authority to provide a partial credit where excessive water and sewer charges result from an intentional cause. A locality or authority cannot deny service to a new lessee or tenant when there are unpaid fees for services to a previous lessee or tenant unless a lien against the property owner is placed on the property.