NEW BILLING PRACTICE
Effective immediately, all water bills processed as a result of a transfer of responsibility for water consumption at a given property will be billed for a full quarter, according to our current Rules and Regulations. We will no longer be prorating water bills. If the consumption for this type of bill is less than the minimum allowed, it will be a minimum quarterly bill. If the consumption goes above the minimum allowed, it will be billed according to our current rate structure.
Transferring Water Service Liability
When a water service is to be transferred from one customer to another, the outgoing customer should contact the Kittery Water District prior to vacating the property, request a final water reading, let us know they wish to have their name removed from the water service account, and provide us with their forwarding address information. We will read the meter on the day requested and prepare a final bill for the outgoing customer.
The outgoing customer is responsible for the account until they notify us, in advance, of the transfer date. If the outgoing customer fails to notify us in advance of the transfer, they remain responsible for the water bill up to the date of notification.
The incoming customer must contact us to confirm occupancy and notify us that they accept responsibility for the water service account, as well as to provide us with their billing information.
If the incoming customer fails to contact us to assume responsibility for the account, water service may be terminated. A three day disconnection notice will be delivered to the property requesting the incoming customer to contact us with their billing information. If we do not hear from the incoming customer by the disconnection date, the water service will be disconnected and there will be a reconnection fee to be paid when the water service is reconnected.
In the case of the sale of a property, the representing real estate agents may contact the Kittery Water District on behalf of the outgoing and incoming customers.
Should a tenant vacate a property and fail to make full restitution, the landlord is ultimately responsible and is subject to the Kittery Water District lien procedures.
Property Owner’s Responsibilities Regarding Water Bills
Effective August 13, 2003, Public Laws of Maine, Chapter 147 F.P., 283, LD 804 became law, giving water districts the ability to lien for nonpayment of water service. LD 804 states that all persons, firms and corporations, whether public, private or municipal, shall pay to the treasurer of any water district the rates established pursuant to Chapter 61 of the Maine Public Utilities Commission Rules and Regulations for the water service used with respect to their real estate.
In the past, a water bill has stayed with the customer – no longer – ultimately the property owner is responsible. To avoid the possibility of a lien against a landlord’s rental property for a tenant’s nonpayment of a water bill, landlords may want to consider maintaining the responsibility of the water bill and including that utility service in their tenant’s rent.