Submeter bill revised to allow landlords to recover administrative fees

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A bill that would require water submeters in all new construction now has amendments allowing landlords and third-party billing companies to collect administrative fees.

Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis

Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis

Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, revised her bill, SB 750, to permit collection of up to $4 in fees to help recover the actual costs of reading submeters and providing billing services for tenants. A lower administrative fee would apply, however, when the water bill is less than $10, according to the amended bill.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, an administrative fee may be adjusted annually by the landlord commensurate with an increase in the Consumer Price Index.

While work lies ahead for this bill, CAA is confident that Wolk will continue to cooperate with the association on its remaining concerns.  Two weeks ago, Wolk agreed to remove all provisions that prohibited the use of ratio-utility billing systems, or RUBS, which landlords use to divide up water bills in older buildings without submeters.

“The bill is certainly moving in the right direction,” said Debra Carlton, CAA’s senior vice president of public affairs.

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