skip navigation

Utility Liens and Shut-offs

  1. A county owns and operates the utility. (change)
  2. The utility chooses to cap the customer's sewer. (change)
  3. The person using the service is a tenant. (change)
  4. The account is in the tenant's name. (change)
  5. The delinquent charges were not incurred by the current tenant. (change)

Conclusion

According to the information you provided, the utility may not cap the customer's sewer service to enforce payment of delinquent sewer charges for the following reason:

  • The delinquent sewer and storm water charges were not incurred by the current tenant.

Explanation

A utility may not deny or terminate service to a tenant based on the delinquency of the owner or a previous tenant. O'Neal v. City of Seattle, 66 F.3d 1064 (1995)

Legal Authority

  • RCW 4.16.040 – Six Year Statute of Limitations
  • RCW 36.94.020 – Powers – Sewerage, Water Systems
  • O'Neal v. City of Seattle, 66 F.3d 1064 (1995)

Disclaimer

Regarding General Use of Information:

These materials are informational and are subject to change without notice. MRSC and SAO have made good faith efforts to provide reliable interpretations of Washington State and federal law relating to utility liens and shut-offs. This information is not intended to supplant due diligence by your agency's staff, and your agency may have established additional requirements that are not reflected in this tool. Always consult your agency's legal counsel, policies, and ordinances before pursuing a utility lien or shut-off. Neither MRSC or SAO or any officer, or employee of MRSC or SAO warrants the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information or interpretation in these materials and shall not be liable for any losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of such information or interpretation. Neither MRSC nor SAO are legally bound by any information or interpretation set forth in these materials.

 more

Disclaimer

Regarding General Use of Information:

These materials are informational and are subject to change without notice. MRSC and SAO have made good faith efforts to provide reliable interpretations of Washington State and federal law relating to utility liens and shut-offs. This information is not intended to supplant due diligence by your agency's staff, and your agency may have established additional requirements that are not reflected in this tool. Always consult your agency's legal counsel, policies, and ordinances before pursuing a utility lien or shut-off. Neither MRSC or SAO or any officer, or employee of MRSC or SAO warrants the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information or interpretation in these materials and shall not be liable for any losses caused by such reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of such information or interpretation. Neither MRSC nor SAO are legally bound by any information or interpretation set forth in these materials.

SHOW DETAILS +

This tool was developed by MRSC in partnership with the State Auditor's Office (SAO) Local Government Performance Center.