(a) The decision of a public utility to require a new residential applicant to deposit a sum of money with the public utility prior to establishing an account and furnishing service shall be based solely upon the creditworthiness of the applicant as determined by the public utility.
(b) No municipal corporation owning or operating a public utility furnishing services for residential use to a tenant under an account established by the tenant shall seek to recover any charges or penalties for the furnishing of services to, or for the tenant’s residential use from, any subsequent tenant or the property owner due to nonpayment of charges by a previous tenant. For this purpose, the term “subsequent tenant” shall not include any adult person who lived at the residence during the period that the charges or penalties accrued. The municipal corporation may collect a deposit from the tenant service applicant prior to establishing an account for the tenant. The municipal corporation may not require that service to subsequent tenants be furnished on the account of the landlord or property owner unless the property owner voluntarily agrees to that requirement, nor may the municipal corporation refuse to furnish services to a tenant in the tenant’s name based upon the nonpayment of charges by a previous tenant.
(c) A public utility subject to this section may not demand or receive security in an amount that exceeds twice the estimated average periodic bill or three times the estimated average monthly bill.
(d) In the event of tenant nonpayment of all or a portion of the bill, the deposit shall be applied to the final bill issued when service is terminated.
(e) This section shall not apply to master-metered apartment buildings.
(Amended by Stats. 1998, Ch. 739, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 1999.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018