Effective the first billing cycle in March 2021, if a tenant fails to pay the Water & Wastewater bills, the arrears are applied to the property tax roll, which are the responsibility of the property owner. 

 

Provincial legislation under section 398 (2) of the Municipal Act provides that charges for the supply of a public utility may be added to the taxes for the property to which the utility was supplied which also includes water arrears of the tenants of an owner’s property.

Water & Wastewater Collection Policy 2021

 


FAQ for Property Owners

What can I do to avoid having water arrears added to my taxes?

  • Register with ERTH Solutions as the account holder and ensure payment is made on time. As the account holder, all bills and notices will only be sent to you.
  • If the account holder is your tenant, you may register with ERTH Solutions as a secondary person on the account for the purpose of notice of arrears only. Your tenant must provide consent in order for you to be added as a secondary account holder. When a tenant’s account is in arrears you will be notified and may have an opportunity to follow up with your tenant before arrears are transferred to your property tax account.

 

How do I register to be notified when my tenant’s water and wastewater account is in arrears and will potentially be transferred to my tax account?

Obtain consent from your tenant to be added as a secondary on the account using the following form.

Forward the completed consent form to ERTH Solutions by mail or email. Once you have been added to the account You will be notified along with your tenant when the account is 45 days overdue.  As a secondary on the account, you are not entitled to receive a tenant’s personal information.

 

 

What information may be shared with a landlord in the notice of arrears?

Only the service address and amount outstanding will be provided. ERTH will not disclose account or payment details to the registered secondary person.

 

How do I obtain information if my tenant has not provided consent?

If the tenant’s account is overdue after 60 days the outstanding balance is transferred to Norfolk County and added to the property tax account for the service address.

The landlord receives a letter from Norfolk County advising that arrears have been added to the property tax account due to water and wastewater arrears.

Payment of the arrears must be made to Norfolk County.

Property owners/landlords requiring information can obtain limited information on their tenant’s account balances and bill dates. When contacting ERTH,  property owners will be required to provide the following information:

  • The property tax roll number related to the service address/account you are calling about
  • The tenant’s name
  • The amount of arrears that was tax rolled to your property tax account per the letter you were sent by Norfolk County
  • Before any information may be released ERTH will confirm that the information provided by the property owner is accurate.

Once confirmed, the property owner will be entitled to the following information only:

  • The bill dates and due dates of the unpaid invoices.
  • The date of the next billing for the account.
  • The breakdown of the tax rolled amount between water, wastewater, and interest.

 

 

Will I be held responsible for my tenant’s arrears accumulated prior to March 2021?

No. Tenants will be held responsible to pay arrears accumulated prior to March 2021.

 

What is the schedule for notification of past due accounts?

6 days after due date Automated telephone reminder to primary account holder.
30 days past due date Reminder notice sent to primary account holder.
45 days past due date Tax roll warning notice sent to primary account holder and notice to secondary (if applicable).
60 days past due Notice to primary account holder confirming transfer to tax roll plus administrative fee (with a copy forwarded to Norfolk County Revenue and Tax Services) and a notice to registered secondary confirming transfer to tax roll plus administrative fee.

 

FAQ For Tenants

 

My account is currently in arrears and I have a payment arrangement to clear the arrears. Will my pre-March 2021 arrears be transferred to my landlord after March 2021?

No. Tenants will be held responsible for any account arrears prior to March 2021 billings and are encouraged to settle their arrears before March 2021. If you have a payment arrangement to pay the arrears it may continue after March 2021, however, if a payment is missed the account will be transferred to the collection agency.

 

If my account is transferred to the collection agency will my credit report be affected?

The collection agency may report your debt to a consumer reporting agency which may negatively affect your credit report. Consumer reporting agencies create and maintain credit reports. They collect information from various sources like banks, credit card companies, mortgage companies, and other creditors. Having a good credit record may make it easier to access goods and services e.g. loans, credit cards, rent an apartment.

 

Does the collection agency accept payment arrangements?

Yes. Please contact the collection agency directly to make payment arrangements.

 

If I have a previous outstanding account for water and wastewater at ERTH or at the collection agency can I register for an account at my new location?

No. All former debts must be settled before a new account will be set up.

 

If I am the primary account holder and my landlord is secondary what information will be shared with the landlord?

ERTH will notify you when your account is past due. If the account remains outstanding at 45 days both you and the property owner will be notified that if not paid within 15 days the amount of the arrears will be transferred from ERTH to the property owner’s tax account at Norfolk County.

 

Notices to landlords will only disclose service address and amount overdue. ERTH will not disclose account or payment details to the registered secondary person.


Tenant Consent Information

Tenant Consent Form

  1. Tenant (primary account holder) or landlord downloads consent Tenant Authorization to Release Utility Account Information to Landlord
  2. Tenant completes consent form and signs, authorizing consent to add landlord as secondary account holder for the purposes of providing notice re: arrears balance transfer to property taxes.
  3. The completed form is submitted to ERTH Solutions by mail or email customerservice@erthsolutions.com
  4. ERTH Solutions updates the account to reflect the tenant’s consent. Landlord added as secondary to account.
  5. If the account is overdue after 30 days the primary account holder (tenant) is notified.
  6. If account is overdue after 45 days, primary and secondary account holder are notified.
  7. If account remains outstanding at 60 days, the outstanding balance is transferred to Norfolk County and added to the property tax account for the service address. Primary and secondary account holder are notified.
  8. Norfolk County adds the arrears plus additional administration fee to the property tax account to be collected in the same manner as property taxes.
  9. After arrears have been transferred to property taxes, payment of the arrears must be made to Norfolk County.