Thursday, July 15, 2010

Unconstitutional Bills Requiring a 3rd Party To Pay For A Product That They Had No Beneficial Use Of




Virginia Code 15.2-5139 – Liens placed on landlords property
Apparently back in 2005 they passed bills hb2563 and rolled it into hb1922 allowing them to place a lien on a landlords property. The latest bill related to that is hb2247 of the 2009 session which clarified the language.

CHAPTER 420
An Act to amend and reenact § 15.2-5139 of the Code of Virginia, relating to water and waste authorities; liens.
[H 2247]
Approved March 27, 2009

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That § 15.2-5139 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:
§ 15.2-5139. Lien for charges.
A. There shall be a lien upon real estate for the amount of any fees, rents or other charges by an authority to the owner or lessee or tenant of the real estate for the use and services of any system of the authority by or in connection with the real estate from the time when the fees, rents or charges are due, and for the interest which may accrue thereon. Such lien shall be superior to the interest of any owner, lessee or tenant of the real estate and rank on a parity with liens for unpaid real estate taxes. An authority may contract with a locality to collect amounts due on properly recorded utility liens in the same manner as unpaid real estate taxes due the locality. A lien for delinquent rates or charges applicable to three or fewer delinquent billing periods not exceeding thirty days each months may be placed by an authority if the authority or its billing and collection agent (i) has advised the owner of such real estate at the time of initiating service to a lessee or tenant of such real estate that a lien will be placed on the real estate if the lessee or tenant fails to pay any fees, rents or other charges when due for services rendered to the lessee or tenant; (ii) has mailed to the owner of the real estate a duplicate copy of the final bill rendered to the lessee or tenant at the time of rendering the final bill to such lessee or tenant; and (iii) employs the same collection efforts and practices to collect amounts due the authority from a lessee or a tenant as are employed with respect to collection of such amounts due from customers who are owners of the real estate for which service is provided.
B. The lien shall not bind or affect a subsequent bona fide purchaser of the real estate for valuable consideration without actual notice of the lien until the amount of such fees, rents and charges is entered in a judgment lien book in the office where deeds may be recorded in the locality in which the real estate or a part thereof is located. The clerk in whose office deeds may be recorded shall make and index the entries therein upon certification by the authority, for which he shall be entitled to a fee of two dollars per entry, to be paid by the authority and added to the amount of the lien. The authority shall give the owner of the real estate notice in writing that it has made such certification to the clerk.
C. The lien on any real estate may be discharged by the payment to the authority of the total lien amount, and the interest which has accrued to the date of the payment. The authority shall deliver a certificate thereof to the person making the payment. Upon presentation of such certificate, the clerk having the record of the lien shall mark the entry of the lien satisfied, for which he shall be entitled to a fee of one dollar.



Virginia Code 15.2 – 5124 – More on landlords owing the tenants bill Hb 2563 of the 2005 session landlord owes up to 3 months of bills.

HOUSE BILL NO. 2563
Offered January 12, 2005
Prefiled January 12, 2005
A BILL to amend and reenact §§ 15.2-2119 and 15.2-5124 of the Code of Virginia, relating to water and sewer charges.
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Patrons-- Marshall, D.W., Armstrong and Hurt
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Referred to Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns
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Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:
1. That §§ 15.2-2119 and 15.2-5124 of the Code of Virginia are amended and reenacted as follows:
§ 15.2-2119. Fees and charges for sewer services.
For sewer service provided by localities, fees and charges may be charged to and collected from: (i) any person contracting for the same; (ii) the owner, lessee or tenant, or some or all of them who use or occupy any real estate (a) which directly or indirectly is or has been connected with the sewage disposal system and (b) from or on which sewage or industrial wastes originate or have originated and have directly or indirectly entered or will enter the sewage disposal system; or (iii) any user of a municipality's water or sewer system with respect to combined sanitary and storm water sewer systems where the user is a resident of the municipality and the purpose of any such fee or charge is related to the control of combined sewer overflow discharges from such systems. Such fees and charges shall be practicable and equitable and payable as directed by the respective locality operating or providing for the operation of the water or sewer system. In any instance where service under this section is contracted for by an occupant of the property that is not the owner, the owner shall be liable for delinquent fees or charges only if a locality or its billing and collection agent has advised the owner of such real estate at the time of initiating service to a lessee or tenant of such real estate that the owner will be liable for the delinquent fees or charges.
Such fees and charges, being in the nature of use or service charges, shall, as nearly as the governing body deems practicable and equitable, be uniform for the same type, class and amount of use or service of the sewage disposal system, and may be based or computed either on the consumption of water on or in connection with the real estate, making due allowances for commercial use of water, or on the number and kind of water outlets on or in connection with the real estate or on the number and kind of plumbing or sewage fixtures or facilities on or in connection with the real estate or on the number or average number of persons residing or working on or otherwise connected or identified with the real estate or any other factors determining the type, class and amount of use or service of the sewage disposal system, or any combination of such factors, or on such other basis as the governing body may determine. Such fees and charges shall be due and payable at such time as the governing body may determine, and the governing body may require the same to be paid in advance for periods of not more than six months. The revenue derived from any or all of such fees and charges is hereby declared to be revenue of such sewage disposal system.
Water and sewer connection fees established by any locality shall be fair and reasonable. Such fees shall be reviewed by the locality periodically and shall be adjusted, if necessary, to assure that they continue to be fair and reasonable. Nothing herein shall affect existing contracts with bondholders which are in conflict with any of the foregoing provisions.
If the fees and charges charged for the use and services of the sewage disposal system by or in connection with any real estate are not paid when due, a penalty and interest shall at that time be owed as provided for by general law, and the owner, lessee or tenant, as the case may be, of such real estate shall, until such fees and charges are paid with such penalty and interest to the date of payment, cease to dispose of sewage or industrial waste originating from or on such real estate by discharge thereof directly or indirectly into the sewage disposal system. If such owner, lessee or tenant does not cease such disposal within two months thereafter, the locality or person supplying water for the use of such real estate shall cease supplying water thereto unless the health officers certify that shutting off the water will endanger the health of the occupants of the premises or the health of others.
Such fees and charges, and any penalty and interest thereon shall constitute a lien against the property, ranking on a parity with liens for unpaid taxes. Such amounts, plus reasonable attorney's attorneys' or collection agency's fees which shall not exceed twenty 20 percent of the delinquent tax bill, may be recovered by the locality by action at law or suit in equity. In any city with a population greater than 390,000, such fees and charges, along with delinquent water and sewer connection fees, and any penalty and interest thereon shall constitute a lien against the property, ranking on a parity with liens for unpaid taxes. Such amounts, plus reasonable attorney's attorneys' or collection agency's fees which shall not exceed twenty 20 percent of the delinquent fee or charge, may be recovered by such city by action at law or suit in equity.
Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any town with a population between 11,000 and 14,000, with the concurrence of the affected county, which provides and operates sewer services outside its boundaries may provide sewer services to industrial and commercial users outside its boundaries and collect such compensation therefor as may be contracted for between the town and such user. Such town shall not thereby be obligated to provide sewer services to any other users outside its boundaries.
§ 15.2-5124. Delinquent payment of rates and charges.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, if the use of any water or sewer system is contracted for by an occupant who is not the owner of the premises and such occupant's premises are separately metered for service, the owner of any such premises shall be liable (i) for delinquent rates or charges only if the authority has advised the owner of such real estate at the time of initiating service to a lessee or tenant of such real estate that the owner will be liable for the delinquent rates or charges, and (ii) only for the payment of delinquent rates or charges applicable to three delinquent billing periods, which together shall not exceed a period of ninety days. No authority shall refuse service to other premises of the owner not occupied by someone who is delinquent in the payment of such rates or charges on account of such delinquency provided that such owner has paid in full any delinquent charges for which he is liable. No authority shall refuse service to or unreasonably delay reinstatement of service to premises vacated by a delinquent occupant if a new party has applied for service, provided the owner of the premises has paid in full all delinquent charges for which he is liable.



HB 407 of the 2010 session Allows landlords to become bill collectors for the water authority by allowing them to take non-paid water out of the tenants security deposit. Landlords need the security deposit because many tenants cause damage well beyond it. Also many tenants cut loose at the last month without paying rent so their entire security deposit is used up there as well, not counting damages. In this scenario the 3rd party landlord still gets the loss out of their pocket for a product that they had no beneficial use of.


§ 55-248.15:1. Security deposits.
A. A landlord may not demand or receive a security deposit, however denominated, in an amount or value in excess of two months' periodic rent. Upon termination of the tenancy, such security deposit, whether it is property or money, plus any accrued interest thereon, held by the landlord as security as hereinafter provided may be applied solely by the landlord (i) to the payment of accrued rent and including the reasonable charges for late payment of rent specified in the rental agreement; (ii) to the payment of the amount of damages which the landlord has suffered by reason of the tenant's noncompliance with § 55-248.16, less reasonable wear and tear; or (iii) to other damages or charges as provided in the rental agreement. The security deposit, any accrued interest and any deductions, damages and charges shall be itemized by the landlord in a written notice given to the tenant, together with any amount due the tenant within 45 days after termination of the tenancy and delivery of possession.
Nothing in this section shall be construed by a court of law or otherwise as entitling the tenant, upon the termination of the tenancy, to an immediate credit against the tenant's delinquent rent account in the amount of the security deposit. The landlord shall apply the security deposit in accordance with this section within the 45-day time period. However, provided the landlord has given prior written notice in accordance with this section, the landlord may withhold a reasonable portion of the security deposit to cover an amount of the balance due on the water, sewer, or other utility account that is an obligation of the tenant to a third-party provider under the rental agreement for the dwelling unit, and upon payment of such obligations the landlord shall provide written confirmation to the tenant within 10 days thereafter, along with payment to the tenant of any balance otherwise due to the tenant. In order to withhold such funds as part of the disposition of the security deposit, the landlord shall have so advised the tenant of his rights and obligations under this section in (i) a termination notice to the tenant in accordance with this chapter, (ii) a vacating notice to the tenant in accordance with this section, or (iii) a separate written notice to the tenant at least 15 days prior to the disposition of the security deposit. Any written notice to the tenant shall be given in accordance with § 55-248.6.
The tenant may provide the landlord with written confirmation of the payment of the final water, sewer, or other utility bill for the dwelling unit, in which case the landlord shall refund the security deposit, unless there are other authorized deductions, within the 45-day period, or if the tenant provides such written confirmation after the expiration of the 45-day period, the landlord shall refund any remaining balance of the security deposit held to the tenant within 10 days following the receipt of such written confirmation provided by the tenant. If the landlord otherwise receives confirmation of payment of the final water, sewer, or other utility bill for the dwelling unit, the landlord shall refund the security deposit, unless there are other authorized deductions, within the 45-day period. …………

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