Landlords should request lien’s exemption
The Marshalltown Water Works follows Iowa Code. Law states a landlord is responsible to pay a tenant’s water bill if the tenant does not pay. The Iowa Code also states that a landlord can request a lien exemption and the tenant will be responsible for their own water bill.
It is a very simple form that you can get at the MWW. All you need to do is give the name of the tenant and file it within a certain timeframe when the tenant moves into the property. I was not aware of this and it may be very costly.
It is helpful to the MWW to know the name of the tenant and if the tenant used their own name to sign up for the water. It would alert the department to follow their written policy of turning off water. There may be a reason the tenant did not put it in their name.
If a landlord is not aware of the lien exemption and continues to pay a tenant’s delinquent water bills — rents would be raised and responsible renters would be paying more to rent. Everyone needs to work together to keep rent as low as possible.
So landlords, request a lien exemption from the MWW and you would not have to pay a tenant’s delinquent water bill.