If a landlord pays your water bill, you should contact them about payment of the building’s delinquent water bill. If you cannot reach your landlord, you are encouraged to contact a local service organization, such as the Department of Social Services or Volunteers of America. If you find yourself in this situation and you are a Binghamton University student, you are encouraged to contact the Office Campus College.
If you are a tenant and water service is included in your rent, you have the right to request a hearing on your own behalf to keep water service to the property. At the hearing you must be able to provide proof that:
1.) Your landlord is responsible for water bills, and
2.) Rent was paid to the landlord.
If you are able to provide proof of this, the hearing officer can prevent service shut off to the property if you agree to be responsible for all future water bills for as long as you are a tenant at the property. A copy of future water bills will be sent to both the landlord and the tenant.
Pursuant to New York State Real Property Law §235-a if you are a tenant living in an apartment building containing three or more units and you pay for water service as part of your rent, you may avoid water shut off by the City by paying the delinquent water bill in full and deducting the bill from future rent.
If you are a tenant living in a single or two-family home and you pay for water service as part of your rent, you may wish to consult with private counsel on what legal remedies you have.