Customers receive utility bills every month. Bills are sent out the last day of the month and are due the 15th of the next month (i.e. bills are sent June 30th and due July 15th).
Yellow NoticeIf payment is not received by the due date, a yellow notice is sent to the tenant and a copy, designated landlord copy, is sent to the landlord.
The yellow notice states that the account must be paid within six working days. A 10% penalty, shown on the original bill, is applied to the tenant's account at this time.
If no payment has been received after six working days have passed, a pink notice is sent to the tenant and a copy, designated landlord copy, is sent to the landlord as notification that the payment still has not been received.
A $15 service fee is applied to the tenant's account and they are given four more working days to pay their bill before their water is disconnected.
If no payment has been received after four working days have passed, a $45 fee is applied to the tenant's account and the water is disconnected.
Once the account has been paid in full, including all penalties, the water service is restored.
Final BillsWhen a tenant leaves a property, a final bill is sent to the former tenant and a copy, designated landlord copy, is sent to the landlord.
Storm water charges are billed to the landlord as well as all property owners in the city. The reason for this is that some landlords lock water service out between tenants and this ensures that the storm water charges are collected no matter what the billing status is of the property.
Delinquent BillsWith the $150 deposit requirement, most final bills are covered by the deposit and the tenants will receive a refund of part of their deposit. However, in those instances where the deposit doesn't cover the final bill or the tenant moved into a residence prior to implementation of the deposit requirement, a delinquent bill may be left behind.
The City of Grinnell tries to collect on the delinquent bills, as much as possible, through contact with the former tenant and submission to the state for collection. Unfortunately, there are instances when our collection methods aren't successful and the landlord will be responsible for paying the delinquent bill.
There are several things a landlord can do to help us collect on the delinquent bills and/or eliminate having to pay them:
- Contact us with any changes in tenants - whether they are moving in or moving out - by completing the Water Lien Exemption form.
- Confirm if tenants haven't paid their final bills so that the amount can be withheld from their rental deposits. Final bills are typically issued weekly on Fridays.
- Ensure the tenant switches the water to their name and pays the $150 deposit. Some landlords require the tenants produce a receipt from the city showing they have paid the deposit.
- Ensure we have the tenant's forwarding address when they move out. Occasionally we are not aware a tenant has moved out and find out only after a new tenant establishes service or the water is shut off for non-payment.
- Complete the Property Verification form, listing all current rental properties and updating the form if property is purchased or sold.