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POL Government Elected Officials Auditor Griffin-Valade Charter, Code & Policies City Code & Charter Online Code & Charter Title 21 Chapter 21.16 Rates and Charges
21.16.030 Billing Responsibility.

(Replaced by Ordinance No. 182053; amended by Ordinance No. 185521, effective August 24, 2012.)  The ratepayer responsible for payment of water charges shall be the property owner as verified in county tax records, the water user occupying the property, or the party otherwise in possession or control of the property.  A property owner may become obligated for charges for furnishing water to the user by accepting responsibility for payment thereof or by agreement with the Portland Water Bureau. 

Water charges are billed daily, regardless of whether the property has no structure on it or if the structure is occupied or vacant. The property owner, or the party otherwise in possession or control of the property, is responsible for all water charges while a property is vacant.

When a single meter serves multiple dwellings or living units at a property, the property owner(s) shall be responsible for the charges related to water use at the premises unless a party who is not the owner confirms with the Bureau the acceptance of that responsibility in a manner that conforms with Bureau policy. 

Either a property owner or a renter may notify the Bureau of the date to open or close an account for a renter. The Bureau will honor the first date on which the request was received to open or close the account. The Bureau will change this date if agreed to by all other affected parties. The Bureau will not mediate a dispute between landlord and renter regarding the dates when billing responsibility changes.  The property owner is responsible for all water charges when no renter has accepted responsibility for water charges. If neither a renter nor owner notifies the Bureau that a renter has left tenancy and the Bureau determines by a visit to the property that the property is vacant, water charges shall commence on that date and shall be applied to the owner.

Where a ratepayer has a delinquent bill for one premises, this delinquency shall be a charge against this ratepayer (for water obtained) at any of his or her other premises served by the Bureau.

When a property is sold, the seller is responsible for all water charges until the date the buyer is entitled to possession. If there is a dispute between the seller and the buyer about the date of possession, the Bureau will use Multnomah County taxation records to verify the legal recording date.