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Owners & Tenants

Information for property owners and tenants with regards to water wastewater billing and payments.

Options

The City provides two options to owners who wish to have their tenant(s) responsible for water and wastewater costs:

  1. Bills remain in the owner’s name, and are sent to the rental property's mailing address or the owner's mailing address. The Owner makes arrangements with the Tenant for payment of the account; it is the sole responsibility of the owner to ensure the bill is paid.
  2. The account can be established in the tenant's name if a completed and signed Owner Tenant Agreement Form is submitted by the owner. The City will create a new account in the tenant’s name. A  new account fee.

    In order to redirect the bill from the owner to the tenant the owner(s) of the property must supply the City with a completed copy of the Owner Tenant Agreement Form, which includes:

    • Name of Tenant(s) & contact information
    • Name of all Owner(s) & contact information
    • Signature(s) of Owner(s)
    • Service address
    • Owner’s mailing address
    • Telephone number of Owner(s)
    • Telephone number of Tenant(s)

    Providing all data noted above on the required form will facilitate prompt updating of our records, thereby reducing unnecessary costs to the Owner and/or Tenants.

    When the Tenant moves out, the account is redirected back into the Owner’s name unless a new Owner Tenant Agreement Form is received by the Water Billing Department to support a new tenancy. Each time the name on the account changes, it is considered to be a new account, and incurs the new account fee.

Arrears

Under the Owner/Tenant Agreement, if the tenant’s account is in arrears, the owner will receive copies of the Reminder Notice and Final Notice as sent to the tenant.

The City assists owners in the collection of tenants' overdue water wastewater accounts, providing owners with an opportunity to reduce the potential for those unpaid water wastewater bills being transferred to their property tax account. Upon request, the City may turn off the water supply to a property occupied by a tenant who’s water wastewater account is in arrears.

The Process

  1. The property owner receives copies of the tenant’s Reminder and Final Notices
  2. When the owner receives a copy of the Final Notice, he/she has the option to submit a Request for Consideration of Water Shut Off to the City in writing that the City consider shutting off the water supply to the premises for the tenant who is in arrears.
  3. The City will determine if shutting off the water is the next step in the collection process; if so, the City will advise the tenant by registered letter that they have two weeks to pay the arrears in full or the water will be shut off.
  4. If the water is shut off, it will remain off until either:
    1. the account is paid in full or payment arrangements have been approved by the City  
    2. the owner provides written approval to turn the water back on because he/she has come to some form of payment arrangements with the tenant 
    3. the owner provides the City with a new Owner/Tenant agreement form for a new tenant moving in
  5. Once one of the options from #4 has been fulfilled, the water will be turned back on by the City. Note: The City requires a minimum of 48 hours notice to turn the water back on.

For those Tenants’ accounts that are not paid despite the water being shut off for more than two weeks, the arrears will be added to the property tax account.

FAQ's: Water Shut off to Tenants’ Water Wastewater Accounts
Does this apply to commercial as well as residential properties?

Yes, a building occupied by a Tenant whose water wastewater account is in arrears will have the water turned off by the City.

Will the City shut off the water if the premises are occupied by the Owner?

At this time this only applies to Tenants who are in arrears.

Can the water be shut off prior to 70 days after the bill date?

No, the Tenant must be given ample opportunity to pay their bill.

As an Owner (or Designate) how will I know when the Tenant is in arrears?

You will continue to receive copies of the Reminders and Final Notice letters that the City sends to the Tenant.

Can the Owner demand that the City shut off the water?

The only acceptable reasons the Owner can request the water to be shut off is due to fire damage, renovations, demolition or seasonal shut down.

If my Tenant is in arrears, do I have to shut off the water?

Only the City will determine if and when the water will be shut off as a result of the arrears.

Doesn’t the Landlord Tenant Act prohibit a Landlord from withholding a vital service such as water?

This Act states that if the supply of a vital service (water, fuel, gas) is cut-off because the Tenant failed to pay their own utility bill, the Tenant cannot claim that the landlord withheld a vital service. The contract for the supply of water is between the Tenant and the City, it is the City who determines when the water will be shut off for nonpayment of the water account.

Who is responsible for notifying the Tenant about the water being shut off?

The City will notify the Tenant by registered letter of the pending shut off date and their payment options.

As Owner (or Designate), can I complete one request for consideration form for all shut offs?

You must complete one form for each location as the City needs to ensure that you are informed of the pending shut off in case the Tenant contacts you directly.

How will the City know that the water is really shut off?

The City will monitor the water consumption using the Automated Meter Reading system to ensure the water is shut off or the flow has been substantially decreased.

How do we stop the scheduled water shut off?

As an Owner (or Designate) you would need to contact the Finance Department Water Billing Branch by phone or email to arrange for payment of the arrears.

As a Tenant, you can pay online through your financial institution allowing 3 business days for your bank to transfer the monies to the City. Or you can pay in person at City Hall with cash, certified cheque, money order or debit card no later than noon of the business day before the scheduled shut off. We do not accept credit card payments or personal cheques, nor will City staff accept payment when they are onsite to turn off the water.

Who pays for this water shut off service?

The Tenant will be charged an administrative fee for the collection process and the cost of the registered letter. The Owner will be billed for shutting off the water and turning it back on as required under the By-Law.

When will the water be turned back on?

The water will be turned back on when the arrears are paid in full or when the Owner (or Designate) provides the City with information about a new Tenant. The City requires a minimum of 48 hours notice to turn the water back on.

How will I know when the account has been paid?

The City will contact the Owner (or Designate) when payment has been received to advise when the water is scheduled to be turned back on. Either of the Tenant, Owner (or Designate) must be present when the water is turned back on to ensure the water is flowing properly.

Why do I have to be onsite when the water is being turned back on?

The City must ensure that the water is flowing properly inside the premises, that there are no leaks detected or there are no plumbing issues as it relates to the water shut off process.

What if there is damage to the water system?

If any damage or leaks occur, the City is not liable or responsible. The Owner is responsible for all repairs.

What if there is a new Tenant?

The water will be turned back on once the City receives the new Owner Agreement Form - Tenant Occupancy form from the Owner (or Designate). The arrears of the old Tenant will be transferred to the property tax roll.

As the Owner, what if I don’t pay the shut off fee?

It will be transferred to the property tax roll after 30 days.

If the Tenant’s water wastewater account remains in arrears despite the water supply being shut off, what happens next?

The arrears amount will be transferred to the Owner’s property tax account. A notice will be sent to the Owner indicating the amount applied to the property tax account and why.

What if the Tenant never pays their arrears?

Until the arrears are paid in full, the water will remain off at the property unless the Owner (or Designate) provides the City with authorization to establish a new account for a new Tenant at the property or the Owner (or Designate) has notified the City that the two parties have reconciled the arrears.

I have hired someone to look after my property, what do I need to do?

If you have hired a person or a company to look after your rental unit, then you should send to Finance an authorization letter providing details of your assigned ‘Designate’: the municipal addresses the Designate is responsible for, any expiry date of this arrangement and the Designate’s complete contact information.

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