Confirming Responsibility for an Unpaid Utility Bill and Securing Payment

9 May 2019

Ms. G was unaware that she had not been paying her water bill, mistakenly believing that her mortgage company was paying for her utilities along with her property tax. She contacted us when staff from the City’s Revenue Services division informed her that she owed over $10,000 for unpaid water bills dating back to 2011. They planned to send her file to the bailiff for collection because she had not responded to their notices. Ms. G claimed she never received them.

We asked the City to delay involving the bailiff until we could investigate. We gathered information and found that Revenue Services had in fact consistently sent the appropriate notices to the complainant’s correct address. We met with Ms. G and her Councillor to provide them with the evidence we had gathered and explained that she had the responsibility to pay the debt. Ms. G acknowledged her responsibility and committed to repay the funds by a specific date.

We helped Revenue Services and Ms. G negotiate a date by which she would repay her debt before the City would send her account to the bailiff. Ms. G complied by paying her debt in full, including interest, by the set date.

All names are changed to protect the privacy of complainants.