AUTHORIZING LANDLORDS AND TENANTS TO ENTER INTO RENTAL AGREEMENTS WHEREBY ELECTRIC AND NATURAL GAS SERVICE ARE IN THE LANDLORD'S NAME AND THE TENANTS SHALL REIMBURSE THE LANDLORD IN THE MONTHLY RENT, AND PROVIDING THAT LANDLORDS IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES SHALL NOT BE DEEMED A PUBLIC UTILITY OR A RESELLER OF UTILITIES SUBJECT TO REGULATION BY THE UTILITIES COMMISSION.
Current law prohibits master meters for electric and natural gas service in new residential buildings, as defined. Enacts subsection (b) to GS 143-151.42 to exempt the following from the prohibition. Permits a landlord and tenant to agree in a rental agreement that: (1) the separate electric meter and the separate natural gas meter, if applicable, will be in the landlord's name; (2) a specific monetary amount for electric service and for natural gas service, if applicable, will be included in the monthly rent; (3) the tenant will reimburse the landlord for any monthly costs of electric service and natural gas service, if applicable, when the costs exceed the amount specified in the rental agreement; or (4) if the landlord has separate rental agreements with two or more tenants residing in the same unit, the costs of electric service and natural gas service, if applicable, will be divided equally between the total number of tenants. Authorizes the landlord to disconnect electric and natural gas service without notifying the tenant, if the landlord and tenant did not enter into a rental agreement and the tenant failed to obtain service in his or her own name; excuses the landlord from any liability to the tenant for the disconnection. Permits the landlord, under a written rental agreement, to charge the tenant a monthly fee for the tenant's unauthorized disconnection or failure to obtain electric or natural gas service, and continue to charge the monthly fee until the tenant obtains service in his or her own name or surrenders possession of the premises. Specifies that the landlord is not a reseller of utilities or a public utility, and subsection (b) applies to any dwelling unit normally rented or leased for a minimum of one month or longer. Defines applicable terms, and makes a conforming change.
Amends GS 62-3(23)d. to clarify that public utility does not include a landlord acting pursuant to GS 143-151.42(b), and monies received by the landlord do not make the landlord a reseller of utilities.
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