Effective June 1, 2023, all new City of Brooks utility accounts will need to be opened in the owner's name.
Owners who rent out their property will be responsible for any utility services received by their tenants unless an owner authorizes the City to have their bill forwarded to the tenant. If the account is not paid, however, outstanding charges will be transferred to the owner’s property tax account.
Existing utility accounts that are in a tenant’s name will not be affected by these changes until:
- the tenant moves out; or
- the account becomes delinquent (account will be closed).
If you currently have a utility account with the City of Brooks, effective June 1, 2023, it is your responsibility to keep your account in good standing. Your account will be closed If it becomes delinquent.
Please notify the City when you move out to ensure that your initial deposit can be promptly refunded to you, or applied to your account balance.
For More Information
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call Rebecca Fraser at 403-362-3333 ext. 1122.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Why did the City change the Utility Rates Bylaw prohibiting tenants from opening their own utility account?
- The bylaw change will eliminate the need to discontinue services because of non-payment. The City is reviewing and streamlining utility collection processes. When a property owner does not pay their utilities, the City is able to transfer those amounts to their property tax account and collect outstanding amounts by following Property Tax Recovery processes. When the account holder is a tenant, the City’s only recourse is to discontinue services. This is an unpleasant and tedious process.
- Does this mean that if I am a property owner who rents out my property, that I will have to collect the utility charges from my tenants directly?
- It depends. If you have a new rental agreement made after June 1, 2023, the utility bill will be your responsibility as the owner of the property, unless you decide to enter into an agreement with the City to have the utility bills forwarded to your tenant. If the tenant does not pay the account within 50-days of the invoice date, however, you will be notified that the balance has been transferred to your tax account.
- If you have a new rental agreement, made after June 1, 2023, and do not elect to enter into an agreement with the City, you may recover the utility charges from your tenant by other means such as through increased rents or by having your tenants reimburse you for each billing.
- What if I am a landlord with a tenant who always pays their bills on time?
- If you currently have a tenant who pays their bills on time, this bylaw change will not affect you. The utility account will remain in your tenant’s name until they move out or they fail to pay their bill.
- What happens if my current tenant’s account is discontinued because of non-payment?
- If the City has to discontinue your tenant’s utility account, you will be notified that future utility bills will be in your name and therefore, your responsibility. All the previous charges that your tenant has incurred will remain on their account.
- If I am a tenant in good standing and move from one property to another, can I maintain my utility account?
- If you move before June 1, 2023, you can open a utility account with the City of Brooks. After June 1, 2023, Bylaw 23/08 requires that utility accounts only be set up in the registered owner's name.