Twin Falls City Council passes utility ordinance; aimed at resolving delinquent accounts

City officials suggest landlords include utility costs in the rent
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 5:19 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — On Monday, the Twin Falls City Council passed an ordinance that will shift the responsibility of delinquent utility accounts from the tenant to the property owner.

The ordinance is aimed at reducing the city’s losses on rental property utility accounts. In previous reporting, officials said the city currently turns over approximately $140,000 each year in utility bills for collection. Only about 24% of that money is actually recovered by the city. From May 2022 to July of 2022 city service was turned off at more than 200 accounts for non-payment, and 55% of them were rentals.

City officials suggest landlords include utility costs in the rent.

“What is typically happening, we will see someone who goes into a unit, they leave - they don’t tell the landlord - the city is left with that bill to go and collect it,” said Josh Palmer, City of Twin Falls Spokesperson.

The ordinance did not pass unanimously. Five people voted to approve; Nikki Boyd voted against it, and Spencer Cutler abstained.

The ordinance will take effect in January of 2023.