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Under current law, a tenant is entitled to recover three times the amount of any overcharge, a civil penalty equal to one month's rent, reasonable attorney's fees, and court costs from a facility owner or condominium manager of a multiple use facility if there is a rule violation regarding submetering of utility service (such as overcharging a tenant for water utilities).
HB 1964 would revoke this tenant authorization and would instead authorize the claimant to file a complaint with the Public Utility Commission regarding a violation. If the commission determines the owner or manager overcharged the claimant for water or wastewater service, the commission would be able to require repayment equal to the amount overcharged. This bill would also remove an existing exemption from civil liability for an owner of a multiple use facility or condominium manager who proves that a violation was a good faith, unintentional mistake.