33-2107. Utility fees; service interruption;
waste, garbage and rubbish removal fees; refunds;
A. A landlord may charge separately for gas, water or electricity by doing either
of the following:
1. Installing a submetering system.
2. Allocating the charges separately through a ratio utility billing system.
B. If a landlord charges separately for gas, water or electricity by installing a
1. The landlord shall provide a separate meter for every user.
2. For each billing period the cost of the charges for the period shall be
separately stated, along with the opening and the closing meter readings and the dates of
the meter readings. Each bill shall show the computation of the charge generally in
accordance with the serving utility company billing format for individual service
supplied through a single service meter.
3. The landlord shall not charge more than the prevailing basic service single
family residential rate charged by the serving utility or provider and any other fees and
taxes imposed on the landlord by the provider relating to this rate.
C. If a landlord charges separately for gas, water or electricity pursuant to a
ratio utility billing system:
1. The landlord may recover the charges imposed on the landlord by the utility
provider, except that a landlord shall not include a charge by the supplying utility for
gas, water or electricity used in a common area or office if the common area or office is
separately metered. The landlord shall post in a conspicuous place on the premises the
current rate under which the landlord pays for the utility service, as well as the
expenses included in the administrative fee and a statement that the total administrative
fee charged in the aggregate does not exceed ten per cent of the landlord's total charge
during the billing period. For the purposes of this paragraph, "charges" means the
landlord's actual expense of obtaining the utility, including the taxes and fees assessed
by or through the utility provider and imposed on the landlord by the utility provider.
2. The landlord may charge an administrative fee for the landlord's actual
administrative costs. Any monthly administrative fee shall not exceed the greater of the
landlord's actual administrative costs or ten per cent of the monthly charges by the
utility provider in the aggregate to the landlord. The landlord shall not impose any
other additional charges. If the landlord arranges for utility billings to be handled by
a third party, the utility billings shall instead include the actual and reasonable cost
charged by the third party for the service. Those third party charges shall not exceed
ten per cent of the monthly charges by the utility provider for that utility in the
aggregate to the landlord. For the purposes of this paragraph, "administrative costs"
includes the direct actual costs to the landlord of billing for utilities, including the
cost of staff time to calculate and mail the bills, postage and stationery.
3. The rental agreement shall contain a disclosure that lists the utility services
that are separately charged to the tenant and shall state that an administrative fee
covering the landlord's administrative expenses in making the calculations under the
ratio utility billing system will also be assessed. The rental agreement also shall state
that total administrative fees assessed each billing period shall not exceed ten per cent
of the landlord's total charges for that utility provider.
4. Allocation shall be made on the basis of rented spaces.
D. A landlord that is also a mobile home park as defined in section 33-1409 shall
comply with subsection A, paragraph 1 and subsection B of this section.
E. The landlord shall provide a statement of proposed interruption of utility
service to the tenants within a reasonable time, except in the case of an interruption
caused by an emergency. An emergency does not include any failure or refusal by the
landlord to fulfill the duties and obligations to maintain fit premises. A statement of
proposed interruption of utility service may be provided by posting an announcement of
the period of the interruption in a conspicuous place on the premises where a
recreational vehicle space is located or by individual delivery to each tenant.
F. For the purpose of regulating recreational vehicle parks as public or
consecutive water systems, the state shall not adopt rules pursuant to title 49, chapter
2, article 9 that are more stringent than authorized by the federal
government. Submetering solely to determine the charges for individual water use by park
tenants for the purpose of water conservation, without other evidence indicating a
transaction subject to regulation under title 49, chapter 2, article 9, shall not be used
as a basis for treating any recreational vehicle park as a public or consecutive water
G. A landlord may charge separately for removal of waste, garbage, rubbish, refuse
and trash and for sewer services. Any charges for removal or sewer services shall not
exceed the prevailing single family or residential charge, fee or rate for these services
levied by the political subdivision or provider.
H. A landlord who determines, on the landlord's own or as a result of a tenant
objection, that the landlord has overcharged tenants shall refund the overcharged amount
to the tenants who were overcharged and who reside in the recreational vehicle park at
the time the overcharge is determined. The refund shall be made through a credit toward
future utility charges or a refund and shall be provided within sixty days.
I. If a tenant believes that a landlord is not in compliance with this section, the
tenant shall provide written notice to the landlord regarding the alleged violation of
this section. If the dispute is not resolved within thirty days after the notice is
received by the landlord, the tenant may file a civil complaint in justice court to
enforce this section. In an action pursuant to this subsection, the court shall award the
prevailing party court costs and reasonable attorney fees.