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Water/Sewer bills

With-in my lease, tenants are responsible for paying the bills, on time, when they arrive.  Tenants are supposed to have bills in their names. Since their is a $290.00 deposit for my tenants to have this service put in their names,  I have continued to leave these bills in my name, it is much easier for all concerned.  When I receive the bills, I send my tenants an e-mail stating the amount as well as the due date, I will also send a copy of these bills to them. I have never had an issue with this until now.  My current tenant has not paid either of the bills, which means I will be the one paying.  I do not want to shut off this service for each time it is truned back on in my name, I also must pay the deposit. I was kind enough to pay the first bills for her, for which she was grateful. Is there a letter form with-in this forum for which I may use to address this issue in a professional manner?   Any advice as to how I address this issue for I do not want it to become an eviction situation. This women takes good care of the property--pays rent on time each month and has 2 small children, the only other issues which I have had with her is the cultivation of illegal substance on my property. Thank-you

Good Afternoon! EzLandlord Form's offer the Late Utility Payment/Demand for Payment form. -                      We also offer a Utility Billing Notice -
J M,  Before anything else I must suggest that you speak w/ an attorney.  With that said, here are some thoughts and some ideas on what I would do...  I would strongly suggest that you stop paying the utility deposits for the tenants in the future.  In this business, I constantly hear the phrase, "no good deed goes unpunished."  If you are concerned that the property would not rent because of this high utility deposit (maybe the rent is quite low?) then I would suggest that you work out some kind of credit to the tenant for the amount of the deposit against their first months rent, and increase the rent by that amount for their last months rent.  Just an idea.  For this immediate issue, I would do this, 1) apply any/all future payments to the oldest balance first - i.e. the utilities (I'm hoping your lease says you can do this), 2) inform the tenant that you are going to do this which will leave an unpaid rent amount for which you can charge fees, 3) if she can't pay the unpaid rent amount I would refer her to some local aid agencies (non-profits that assist w/ rent) to help her get caught up.    Alex Yoder Dorman Property Management Colorado Springs
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