Rental/Leased Properties connected to Township Water and Sewer Sytems
As a general rule, water and sewer rates and charges are secured by a lien on the premises served. If water and sewer rates and charges are not paid when due, the Township Water and Sewer Ordinance provides that a time price differential equal to 5.4% of the unpaid amount will be added to the balance due for each calendar quarter that the rates and charges remain unpaid. Amounts that are unpaid for 90 days or more as of September 1st of any year are considered delinquent and may be certified by the Township, together with a one-time penalty of 6%, for placement on the December 1 tax bill, at which point the lien will be enforced and the certified delinquencies will be collected in the same manner as an ad valorem property tax.
It has come to our attention that, as part of rental/leased arrangements, some landlords/owners require their tenants by the terms of the lease to be responsible for payment of water and sewer rates and charges. In these circumstances, the Township has provided an exception to the general "lien" rule discussed above. Accordingly, a landlord can avoid having the Township place a lien on the rental property for unpaid water and sewer rates and fees by adhering to the following requirements that are set forth in Section 1711 of the Township Water and Sewer Ordinance:
1. The lease must be fully executed by the landlord and the tenant.
2. The lease must contain express written provisions that the tenant and not the landlord is responsible for payment of water and sewer rates and charges.
3. The landlord/owner must file the following with the Township:
a. A written affidavit provided by the township that sets forth the names and addresses of the landlord/owner and the tenant, the responsibility of the tenant under the lease for payment of water and sewer rates and charges, the expiration date of the lease, and an agreement by the owner to give the Township 20 days written notice of any cancellation, change and/or termination of the lease.
b. A true copy of the lease
c. A minimum security deposit in the amount of $500 per tenant.
4. Each time there is a change in the tenant, the landlord/owner must comply with requirements 1 through 3 above, and any unpaid rates and charges, including time price differential and penalties, attributable to the rental unit must be paid in full.
5. The security deposit will be held by the Township without interest and will be returned to the landlord upon proof of termination of the lease.
After compliance with requirements 1 through 3 above, NO lien will attach to the rental property so long as the underlying water and sewer rates and charges are paid by the tenant when due.