Town officials in Saginaw, Michigan, are thinking of making a change to the way that water customers are allowed to open up new accounts. Until now, they had been asking people for $100 when they started an account, but they are discussing a move that would raise that total to $150.
Reports show that this new change is being mulled over because the officials met with a number of landlords who had purchased investment properties, and the alteration was discussed at that meeting. The landlords appear to be in favor of the change.
The issue is that some customers have high water bills that they then do not pay when they leave buildings in Saginaw. For landlords, this can be a serious issue since they may then be stuck with this bill, seeing as how they own the property. Moving the deposit to $150 would help them by protecting them to some degree against these bills, since the deposit could be used to pay it off before the landlord would have to contribute anything.
Of course, this change would also help the city, giving it the same protection against homeowners who leave, allowing more of the unpaid money to be reclaimed.
One official said that the $100 payment had been used for around a decade. Others said that they did not think $150 was even enough, asking for the total to be raised even more than that. The city council recently looked at the potential amendment and voted in favor of it, but a final vote is still needed before it would take effect. That will happen at the next city council meeting.
Landlords in Michigan will definitely want to keep an eye on this ruling to see if it changes the amount that they need to charge and the way that they deal with unpaid bills.
Source: Source: MLive, “Saginaw considers increasing water customers’ deposits from $100 to $150 due to unpaid bills,” Mark Tower, July 7, 2014