NY Mills City Council passes resolution in response to high number of deliquent utility accounts
Kevin Cederstrom email@example.com The City Council passed a resolution Tuesday requiring all new utility accounts to be in the landlord/property owner's name. The city will no longer put new utility accounts in tenants' names beginning Jan. 1. This...
The City Council passed a resolution Tuesday requiring all new utility accounts to be in the landlord/property owner's name. The city will no longer put new utility accounts in tenants' names beginning Jan. 1. This will not affect any existing utility accounts that are currently in the tenants' names. As leases expire and/or as existing tenants vacate the premises and new tenants are located, all new utility accounts shall be only in the landlord/property owner's name. This gradual change will allow landlords the opportunity to modify rental payments and lease terminology as new tenants are located and/or as leases expire and are renewed/rewritten.
The change in the ordinance is largely due to the city's large exposure on utility accounts and record losses during 2007. Accounts with large past due balances become difficult to collect, especially from tenants who can be difficult to locate once they move elsewhere.
All tenants with utility accounts currently in their names will continue to be responsible to the city until such time as their unpaid balances are paid in full and service has been switched over to the owner's name at the next lease renewal date.
This resolution is intended to cut down on the number of delinquent utility accounts with the city. The city sent out 46 disconnect letters to customers 30-60 plus days overdue on Nov. 29 with a disconnect date of Dec. 17, along with information regarding cold weather rule, weatherization and inability to pay/payment plan forms. Customers must fill out the inability to pay form and return to the City Office to see if they income qualify for inability to pay plan. If residents do not income qualify they must set up a payment plan with the City Office for delinquent bills to be protected from winter disconnect.
Since the disconnect letters were sent out only three customers have filled out the inability to pay forms and one has a payment plan set up.
The Cold Weather Rule does not forbid all winter disconnects, the customer must take action in any of the above ways to be protected from disconnection.
Outstanding utility bills are a problem each year and currently total about $20,000. When discussing the matter at Tuesday's council meeting Mayor Larry Hodgson commented that total could be $30,000 to $35,000 by the end of the summer.