High Contrast

Our Feed

We are involved in our communities, our profession, and our clients' associations and activities.

Does a Township Need a Resolution to Impose an Unpaid Utility Bill on a Property that is Rented by a Tenant?

It depends on the type of utility service. Presumably you are referencing unpaid water and sewer services.  Under certain circumstances, a Township may not place liens on properties for unpaid water and sewer services if tenants pay a property’s water and sewer bills. The Township cannot place liens on properties for unpaid water and sewer services if: (1) the landlord (who is the property owner) and tenant have a lease stating the landlord is not liable for paying water and sewer bills; and (2) the landlord files an affidavit regarding the lease language with the Township. See MCL 141.121; MCL 123.165. Once a landlord files the affidavit with the Township, the Township can no longer file liens for water and sewer services which occurred after the landlord filed the affidavit. The landlord exception above is narrow. If a landlord did not file an affidavit with the Township or if a landlord  does  not  have a  lease  with  their  tenant containing language regarding  water  and  sewer bills, the Township can still place liens on a landlord’s property. Nothing in the applicable statutes noted above requires a resolution, although adopting a Township policy on addressing delinquent utility bills would be prudent.

Recent Articles & Announcements

  1. What can my township do with lef...

    Act 188 of 1954 (“Act 188”) is a statute that many townships use to finance many improvements using special assessments ranging from lak...

    Read More
  2. Renewable Energy Projects – Ge...

    Renewable energy projects including utility-scale wind and solar energy developments are becoming more and more prevalent in Michigan. In re...

    Read More
  3. Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC...

    Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC is delighted to announce that three new summer associates will be joining the firm for its 2021 summer asso...

    Read More
Talk to an Attorney
Request a Consultation

At Fahey Schultz Burzych Rhodes PLC, we’ve been helping municipalities, franchised businesses, employers, and more with their legal needs since 2008. We’d love to learn how we can help you, too.