Water lien on a house

4 Replies

Dear BP family,

In the state of Pennsylvania water is lienable against a house (not person/tenant). I was wondering if anyone of you would know how much a person has to owe for the city to actually put an official lien on the house?

My section 8 tenant doesn't pay her water bill and my management company takes their sweet time to resolve this issue with her.

thank you all in advance

@Eli M.

Your tenant should not be paying the water bill directly. How you should be doing it is that the bill is in your name directly, either you or the management company pay it directly to the water authority every month/quarter (however it is billed), then you bill the tenant for it. That way, you never have to worry about a lien. I'm surprised your management company did not recommend this, as it is pretty basic.

Here is 2 years arrears & the city puts you in foreclosure. 

We just acquired a home for $6K. The owners had some serious liens & judgments so they signed it over to us, we paid the arrears, kept them as tenants paying mkt rents. They didn't lose their home & were thankful to stay put. 

@Gregory Hiban is dead on with what he says.  The water remains in my name for my properties and the bills get mailed to me.  I pay them then the tenant gets it invoiced back to them with a copy of the bill.  It becomes due with the following month's rent.  Easy peasy.  No arrears, no liens, and you get to keep an eye on it to head off a potential problem before it becomes one.

I also like to see water/sewer bills. I know what they typically run for each tenant after a couple bills, and what they should run for the size of the household, so I know if I have a water issue (typically a running toilet that needs to be fixed).