NEW: BP Podcast 66: Flips, Apartments, & Protecting Yourself From Professional Tenants with Michael Blank

Hide this

From the BiggerPockets Blog

 BiggerPockets Blog »

Jump to Forum View All

Click a category below to view different forum categories.

BiggerPockets

General Info

BiggerPockets Q&A, Site Questions, & Announcements

1515 topics, 14399 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 03:02AM

BiggerPockets Exclusive PRO Area

117 topics, 839 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 05:47AM

New Member Introductions

10885 topics, 85613 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 02:58AM

Real Estate Success Stories

396 topics, 6152 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 02:35AM

General Real Estate

General Real Estate

Buying & Selling Real Estate

5935 topics, 46774 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 11:05PM

Renters

643 topics, 5814 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 03:24AM

Get Foreclosure Help - Help Stop Foreclosure Forum

316 topics, 2557 posts — Last Post 04/16/14, 03:58AM

Home Owner Association (HOA) Issues & Problems Forum

237 topics, 1609 posts — Last Post 04/17/14, 08:53AM

Do it Yourself

654 topics, 6264 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 01:54AM

Reviews & Feedback

Real Estate Deal Analysis and Advice

3674 topics, 29450 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 02:26AM

Real Estate Guru, Book & Course Reviews and Discussions

1133 topics, 11558 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 11:03PM

Ask About A Real Estate Company

740 topics, 7318 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 11:52AM

Real Estate Investing

Real Estate Strategies

Wholesaling

5602 topics, 43737 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 03:10AM

Rehabbing and House Flipping

3333 topics, 30989 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 03:15AM

Real Estate Development & New Home Construction

553 topics, 4683 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 10:25PM

Innovative Strategies

703 topics, 6027 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 08:48AM

Tax Liens, Notes, Paper, & Cash Flows Discussion

866 topics, 6677 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 11:42PM

Rent to Own a.k.a. Lease Purchase, Lease Options

691 topics, 4871 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 03:32PM

1031 Exchanges

143 topics, 1054 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 08:41AM

Foreclosure Investing

General Foreclosure & Pre-Foreclosure Forums

1686 topics, 11285 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 01:32PM

HUD, VA, and Tax Sales

414 topics, 3089 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 12:05PM

REOs

1214 topics, 10570 posts — Last Post 04/17/14, 02:28PM

Short Sales

1534 topics, 13120 posts — Last Post 04/17/14, 04:44PM

Landlord & Tenant Forums

Landlord & Rental Property Questions

7201 topics, 70735 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 03:03AM

Mobile Homes & Mobile Home Park Investing

638 topics, 5140 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 03:22PM

Investor Basics

Starting Out

7698 topics, 60434 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 10:39PM

Investor Psychology

431 topics, 6104 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 06:08PM

General Real Estate Investing

4716 topics, 37183 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 02:53AM

Real Estate Investor Marketing

1731 topics, 14093 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 11:12PM

Commercial Real Estate

Commercial Real Estate Investing Forum

1410 topics, 8985 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 10:17PM

Multi-Family and Apartment Investing

1109 topics, 9223 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 02:20AM

The Business of Real Estate

Real Estate Technology and the Internet

Real Estate Technology, Social Media & Blogging

639 topics, 4885 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 02:57PM

Business Basics

Goals, Business Plans & Entities

831 topics, 7562 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 04:25PM

Real Estate Finance & Legal

Financial, Tax, and Legal

Tax, Legal Issues, Contracts, Self-Directed IRA

2785 topics, 20002 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 12:55AM

Property Insurance

309 topics, 2045 posts — Last Post 04/17/14, 07:41PM

Personal Finance Discussion

328 topics, 2731 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 04:33PM

Loans, Mortgages, Credit Lines

Private & Conventional Lending Discussion

2832 topics, 19695 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 02:40AM

Creative Real Estate Financing

1209 topics, 8768 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 08:34PM

Crowdfunding Real Estate

35 topics, 461 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 05:17PM

Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate Professionals

Real Estate Agents

1209 topics, 7988 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 11:30PM

Bankers, Lenders, and Mortgage Brokers

441 topics, 1922 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 09:39AM

Contractors

267 topics, 1677 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 01:58PM

Local Real Estate

Local Real Estate

Local Real Estate Networking & Recommendations

1988 topics, 11603 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 10:42PM

Americans & International Real Estate

161 topics, 566 posts — Last Post 04/14/14, 11:19AM

Foreigners Buying in the USA

62 topics, 409 posts — Last Post 04/10/14, 06:27AM

Canadian Real Estate

64 topics, 428 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 04:22AM

Marketplace

Real Estate Marketplace

Real Estate Marketplace

15015 topics, 53950 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 09:07PM

Real Estate Events and Happenings

164 topics, 2505 posts — Last Post 04/19/14, 12:04AM

Off-Topic

Off Topic

Off-Topic

2905 topics, 32408 posts — Last Post 04/18/14, 05:31PM

Housing News & Real Estate Market

914 topics, 8351 posts — Last Post 04/17/14, 08:41AM

BiggerPockets Real Estate Investing Summit

97 topics, 1751 posts — Last Post 04/10/14, 02:27PM

BiggerPockets Resources

Forums » Landlord & Rental Property Questions » Tenant not paying water bill

Tenant not paying water bill

17 posts by 8 users

Signup

· Central NJ, New Jersey


Hi,

I have a tenant in a SFH in Philly who has not paid their water bill the last couple of months. The water is in my LLCs name (was advised that I should do that instead of having it in tenants name). What legal recourse do I have? I'd love to send a plumber over there and have the water shutoff from the street or have the water company do it themselves. However, I'd prefer to avoid a tenant lawsuit for violating their rights.

Thanks
Dan



Real Estate Investor · Sacramento, California


Yea, constructive eviction is never a good idea.
Your only recourse I think is to serve a 5 day pay or quit. I assume you've got it in your lease/rental agreement that this tenant is to pay the water bill. Just like any violation of the contract, your recourse starts with a 5 day. You might check with the water municipality and find out their policies on how many months they let it lapse before placing a lien on the property, and/or shut it off.



SFR Investor · Wheat Ridge, Colorado


My lease states any money I receive first goes to late fees, then other charges like a water bill, then rent. So, if I had to pay the water bill, I would require the tenant pay me that amount with the next rent payment. I don't accept partial payments, so unless they pay the rent plus the water bill, the rent is late. Like Ralph says, the next step is to post a pay or quit and start the eviction process.


Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC


Wholesaler · Memphis, Tennessee


Dan,

Who advised you to put the water bill in your LLC's name? That is bad advice as far as Im concerned.

The previous advice is all good. You could only hope the city would shut the water off but that still leaves you holding the bag.


Small_buymemphisnow_stacksCurt Davis, Buy Memphis Now
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 901-207-8977
Website: http://www.BuyMemphisNow.com
KAIZEN Realty 901-221-4041


· Central NJ, New Jersey


Aren't I holding the bag at the end of the day anyway? if I put the water in the tenant's name and they don't pay, the water company puts a lien on my property. My understanding is that this lien is attached to the property (basically me) and not the tenant, so in the end, I'm paying for it...



SFR Investor · Wheat Ridge, Colorado


Yep, that's the way it works here. But with proper wording in the lease you can turn an unpaid water bill into an eviction and get rid of them before they rack up an even bigger bill.


Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC


Real Estate Investor · Baltimore, Maryland


In addition to Jon's approach which identifies how any payments are allocated, which by the way if your lease does not contain this provision it should, all of my leases indicate that the tenant is specifically responsible for paying the water/sewer bill and if they don't then they can be evicted.

In Baltimore if that statement is not in the lease then you cannot evict the tenant.

The details of how this is executed is this... the LLC that owns the property gets the water bill, the property manager pays the bill to ensure a lien is not placed against the property and then the tenant receives a copy of the water bill to pay immediately.

No pay... No stay!



Commercial Real Estate Broker · Birmingham, Alabama


To All,

I had several houses at one time, and all the utilities the tenents had to put in their names. Well the tenents figured that out quick enough. The water and sewer bill here in Birmingham is on the same bill. They figured out if you only paid the water bill and not the sewer bill, they would not cut the water off. So guess what happens? thats right when I went to sell all my properties EVERY ONE OF THEM HAD SEWER LIENS.

I even had one house that they did not pay water bill, water meter was removed by the water company, so they went and stole a meter from some were and installed it. Oh yes, this property also had a sewer lien attached also.

Sometimes you just can't win for losing.

Wayne



Real Estate Investor · Baltimore, Maryland


Ouch...

This business is always willing to teach lessons isn't it?

I hope everything worked out?



Real Estate Investor · Sacramento, California


Boy, lots of good lessons here. Personally, I've always included water in the rent and paid the water bill myself, but I've not rented SFR, only duplexes and multi-fam where the single bill includes multiple units. In this case, however, where the tenant doesn't have the direct consequences of not paying (like electric/gas or phone/cable) and the consequences are a lien on the property and not a collection against the tenant, the LL/owner just has to pay, whether they bill the tenant or include it in the rent. Trusting the tenant is just not good risk management.



BiggerPockets Founder · Denver, Colorado


That's serious, Wayne! Are these all low-income properties in Birmingham?


Small_bp-squareJoshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 877-831-4704
Website: http://www.biggerpockets.com
Check us out on Twitter: @BiggerPockets


Commercial Real Estate Broker · Birmingham, Alabama


Joshua,

Yes, they were all Section 8 homes that I had.

Peter,

I had to pay all the sewer liens, so I went to the Housing Authority to see if could get any recourse, and to no avail NO!! I could not.

Wayne



SFR Investor · Wheat Ridge, Colorado


All the utilities I've dealt with have some sort of landlord notification process where they notify me if the bill is late.

I've considered Ralph's approach. It seems like more work to pay the bill then collect from the tenant, but I'm beginning to think that's less work than hounding the tenant about a late bill.


Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC


BiggerPockets Founder · Denver, Colorado


Wayne -
I'm assuming that you reported these tenants to Section 8 and got their asses booted from the program . . .


Small_bp-squareJoshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 877-831-4704
Website: http://www.biggerpockets.com
Check us out on Twitter: @BiggerPockets


Commercial Real Estate Broker · Birmingham, Alabama


Joshua,

Yes I did, and I was told that if they did not pay me they would be removed from the program. I'm still waiting on my money (HA HA).

Wayne



BiggerPockets Founder · Denver, Colorado


That is one way to get paid, BTW. When I ran section 8 property, I'd always remind the tenants that if they messed up, I'd quickly report them and have them removed from the program. While I certainly had my share of problems, paying their (my) bills was not one of them.


Small_bp-squareJoshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 877-831-4704
Website: http://www.biggerpockets.com
Check us out on Twitter: @BiggerPockets


Real Estate Investor · Ohio


I am NOT paying my tenant's water bills; their electric bills; their gas bills; for their big screen tv - NADA. They are resonsible for their bills and I am responsible for mine! If they are renting a SFH from me, they are paying all the utilities directly. If they don't pay, the water company can shut off the water and then I'll call the code enforcement department and have them thrown out because the house isn't habitable without water!

Furthermore, the city is NOT putting a lien on my property for some DEADBEAT SCUMBAG'S irresponsibility.

It is high time that landlords stand up and FIGHT this tyranny. In my area, landlords are currently involved in aggressive legal proceedings against the government over this issue. I encourage each of you to grow a backbone and start FIGHTING! Organize the landlords in your area and get a good lawyer. If you don't make a stand, the government will be back looking for more money on a regular basis. Weak landlords do not survive in this business!

IT'S TIME TO STAND UP AND FIGHT!

Mike





Sign up