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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 116
Discontinuance of water service to multiple dwellings
Public Service (PBS) CHAPTER 48, ARTICLE 6
§ 116. Discontinuance of water service to multiple dwellings. 1.
Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no public utility company
shall discontinue water service to an entire multiple dwelling (as
defined in the multiple dwelling law or the multiple residence law)
located anywhere in this state for nonpayment of bills rendered for
service unless such utility shall have given fifteen days' written
notice of its intention so to discontinue as follows:

(a) Such notice shall be served personally on the owner of the
premises affected, or in lieu thereof, to the person, firm, or
corporation to whom or which the last preceding bill has been rendered
and from whom or which the utility has received payment therefor, and to
the superintendent or other person in charge of the building or premises
affected, if it can be readily ascertained that there is such
superintendent or other person in charge.

(b) In lieu of personal delivery to the person or persons, firm or
corporation specified in (a) above, such notice may be mailed in a
postpaid wrapper to the address of such person or persons, firm or
corporation.

(c) In addition to the notice prescribed by (a) or (b) above, fifteen
days' written notice shall be (i) posted in the public areas of such
multiple dwelling, (ii) mailed to the "Occupant" of each unit in that
multiple dwelling, (iii) mailed to the local health officer and the
director of the social services district for the political subdivision
in which the multiple dwelling is located, (iv) if the multiple dwelling
is located in a city or a village, mailed to the mayor thereof, or if
there be none, to the manager, or, if the multiple dwelling is located
in a town, then mailed to the town supervisor, and (v) mailed to the
county executive of the county in which the multiple dwelling is
located, or if there be none, then to the chairman of such county's
legislative body. Notice required by (iv) and (v) of this paragraph may
be mailed to the persons specified therein or to their respective
designees. The notice required by this paragraph shall state the
intended date of discontinuance of service, the amount due for such
service, and the procedure by which any tenant or public agency may make
such payment and thereby avoid discontinuance of service.

(d) The written notice required by clauses (iii), (iv) and (v) of
paragraph (c) above shall be repeated not more than four days nor less
than two days prior to such discontinuance.

1-a. Whenever a notice of intention to discontinue utility service has
been made pursuant to the provisions of this section and obligations
owed the utility have been satisfied, the utility shall notify, in the
same manner as it gave such notice of intention, the occupant of each
unit that the intention to discontinue utility service no longer exists.

2. For the purposes of this section, the department charged with
enforcing the multiple dwelling law shall prepare a schedule of all
multiple dwellings within its jurisdiction and shall provide a copy of
such schedule to any water corporation subject to the provisions of this
section. Such schedule shall be revised semi-annually and a revised copy
provided to such corporation. Every county, and every municipality to
which the multiple dwelling law does not apply, which county or
municipality has compiled or hereafter may compile a listing of all
multiple dwellings within its jurisdiction shall make such listing
available without charge to any water corporation providing service in
such county or municipality.

3. Any water corporation which willfully fails to comply with the
provisions of this section shall be liable for a penalty of twenty-five
dollars for each occupied unit of the multiple dwelling for each day
during which service is unlawfully discontinued; provided, however, that
when the only non-compliance with this section is failure to mail notice
to each "Occupant" as required by clause (ii) of paragraph (c) of
subdivision one above the penalty shall be twenty-five dollars for each
occupied unit of the multiple dwelling to which notice was not mailed
for each day during which service is unlawfully discontinued. An action
to recover a penalty under this section may be brought by the counsel to
the commission in any court of competent jurisdiction in this state in
the name of the people of the state of New York. Any monies recovered in
such action shall be paid to the state treasury to the credit of the
general fund.

4. Any person who willfully interferes with the posting of the notice
specified in clause (i) of paragraph (c) of subdivision one above by any
water corporation, willfully defaces or mutilates any such notice, or
willfully removes the same from the place where it is posted by such
company prior to the date specified therein for the discontinuance of
service shall be guilty of a violation and, upon conviction, shall be
punished by a fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars.

5. The commission shall maintain rules and regulations for the payment
by tenants of utility bills for water service in a multiple dwelling to
which this section applies where the owner of any such multiple
dwelling, or the person, firm or corporation to whom or which the last
preceding bill has been rendered or from whom or which the utility has
received payment therefore, has failed to pay such utility bills. Such
rules and regulations shall (i) provide that utility service may not be
discontinued to any such multiple dwelling as long as the tenants
continue to make timely payments in accordance with established
procedures; (ii) include designation of an office to advise tenants of
the rights and procedures available pursuant to such rules and
regulations; (iii) assure that tenants shall not be liable for bills
more than two months in arrears; and (iv) require the commission upon
petition of twenty-five percent of the tenants of such multiple dwelling
to meet with representatives of such tenants and the owner, person, firm
or corporation to whom or which the last preceding bill has been
rendered or from whom or which the utility has received payment
therefore.