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California Public Utilities Code Section 16481

16481. (a) This section applies if there is a landlord-tenant relationship between the residential occupants and the owner, manager, or operator of the dwelling.

(b) If a district furnishes individually metered residential light, heat, water, or power to residential occupants in a detached single-family dwelling, multiunit residential structure, mobilehome park, or permanent residential structure in a labor camp, as defined in Section 17008 of the Health and Safety Code, and the owner, manager, or operator is the customer of record, the district shall make every good faith effort to inform the residential occupants, by means of written notice, when the account is in arrears, that service will be terminated in 10 days. The written notice shall further inform the residential occupants that they have the right to become customers of the district without being required to pay the amount due on the delinquent account. The notice shall be in English and in the languages listed in Section 1632 of the Civil Code.

(c) The district is not required to make service available to the residential occupants unless each residential occupant agrees to the terms and conditions of service, and meets the requirements of the district s rules. However, if one or more of the residential occupants are willing and able to assume responsibility for the subsequent charges to the account to the satisfaction of the district, or if there is a physical means, legally available to the district, of selectively terminating service to those residential occupants who have not met the requirements of the district s rules, the district shall make service available to the residential occupants who have met those requirements.

(d) If prior service for a period of time is a condition for establishing credit with the district, residence and proof of prompt payment of rent or other credit obligation acceptable to the district for that period of time is a satisfactory equivalent.

(e) Any residential occupant who becomes a customer of the district pursuant to this section whose periodic payments, such as rental payments, include charges for residential light, heat, water, or power, where these charges are not separately stated, may deduct from the periodic payment each payment period all reasonable charges paid to the district for those services during the preceding payment period.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 560, Sec. 8. Effective January 1, 2010.)

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Last modified: September 9, 2016