Landlord/tenant obligations are governed by the Ohio Landlord-Tenant Act (ORC 5321) and by the Eviction statute, ORC 1923. These statutes outline the rights and responsibilities of both tenants and landlords.
The owner of the property shall be ultimately liable for all unpaid bills at the property whether or not authorized by the owner. It is recommended that all rental accounts be established in the landlord's name only and be billed directly for service.
The owner of real property can waive his right to be billed directly, but the owner also assumes full responsibility for all charges at the property under ORC Section 6119.06, for all bills left unpaid by tenants. The District reserves the right to place a lien upon the property for any delinquent charges owed as allowed by the Ohio Revised Code.
For a new tenant moving into a rental unit, the balance from any previous renters must be paid in full by the previous tenant or the landlord before a new tenant can establish service in their name.
As a courtesy to the property owner, the designated party or tenant can be billed for all services rendered. When the water bill is in the tenant's name and the bill is current, The District is not permitted to turn the water off to help the owner evict the tenant or help the owner collect rent.
In the situation where the water meter/equipment is inside of a tenant's rental unit, the landlord will assist The District in gaining entry to the premise to service District equipment if we have not been permitted to enter by the tenant.
Tracking a Tenant's Account
There are ways for a landlord to track the status of the tenant's bill, including:
- Set up an online billing account. The tenant's account number is required for the landlord to establish an account. Please note that only one online billing account can be established for a service location.
- The landlord's phone number can be added to the tenant's billing account to receive any phone notifications regarding a delinquent balance in jeopardy of shut off.
- The landlord can call customer service at any time to inquire about a tenant's account status.
- To monitor the account for unusual water usage (leaks, running water), the landlord can establish an Aqua Hawk account to monitor the property. Leak alerts can be set to notify the registered user via phone, text, or email.
Certification of Unpaid Tenant Balances
The District certifies delinquent utility balances to the real estate tax duplicate in September each year. Due to the unusual circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, service disconnections have been postponed until further notice. However, utility bills are still due and must be paid; no charges will be waived. All unpaid utility balances outstanding on July 1, 2020 will be due and payable by September 4, 2020 to avoid the certification process. Service disconnections will commence under the guidance of the Governor's office and the Director of the Ohio EPA.