Chapter 27 UTILITIES*
Section 27-20 Security deposits.
(a) Each new customer shall be required to make a security
deposit as a condition of service.
(1) Customers requesting services
to a one-family dwelling or one-family unit of a larger
residential building shall deposit the following amounts for receiving utility services:
a. Electrical service
b. Water service
c. Sewer service
d. Refuse service
At the discretion of the finance director, the security deposit may be waived upon the customer
establishing one (1) year (twelve consecutive months) good credit or furnishing a letter of good
credit from the customers previous utility provider. The finance director will maintain
policy that defines good credit.
(2) When more than one of the above
services is requested, the amount of the deposit shall
be the total amount of the fees shown for the services requested. The finance director may also
increase security deposits for residential accounts to minimize the city's risks where appropriate.
(b) A residential landlord requesting services for a rental unit
shall make a security deposit
based on the number of rental units for which the landlord has utility security deposits with the
First 25 units . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$10.00 per unit
Units in excess of 25 . . . . . . . . . . $5.00 per unit
The maximum amount of security deposits a residential landlord shall be required to make,
regardless of the number of rental units, is one thousand dollars ($1,000.00). At the discretion of
the finance director, the customer may request the deposit be waived upon the customer
establishing one (1) year (twelve consecutive months) good credit with the City of Columbia.
The finance director will maintain a written policy that defines good credit.
(c) In order for customers to obtain service to a commercial
establishment or for any use other
than single-family residential use, they shall be required to meet one of the following provisions:
Make a deposit based on twice the estimated amount of thirty (30) days' bill for those
services requested for new accounts, and be adjusted to twice the actual average as necessary.
The finance director may also increase security deposits for commercial accounts to minimize the
city's risks where appropriate.
(2) Furnish equivalent bond or letter
At the discretion of the finance director, commercial security deposits may be waived
commercial customer having established a minimum of three (3) years' continuous timely
(d) Service deposits may be transferred or applied to a new
residence or business location if a
customer moves. Adjustment shall be made if the amount of deposit is inadequate or excessive.
(e) The department may require an additional security
deposit as a condition of continued
service if, in an unauthorized manner, the customer interferes with or diverts the service of the
utility situated on or about or delivered to the customer's premises. The department may require
a signed application for service and additional security deposit from any customer giving false
information to access City of Columbia utility services.
(f) No additional security deposit shall be required by the
department on the basis of the
customer's age, sex, race, creed, national origin, marital status, number of dependents, source of
income, or geographical area of residence.
(g) Upon termination of service, the deposit shall be credited
to the final bill and the balance,
if any, shall be returned to the customer.
(h) At the discretion of the finance director, the security
deposit may be waived upon the
customer establishing one (1) year (twelve consecutive months) good credit or furnishing a letter
of good credit from the customers previous utility provider. The finance director will maintain
written policy that defines good credit. Should the deposit be credited to a customer's account
and the customer's services discontinued subsequently due to nonpayment, the customer will be
required to make the proper security deposits in addition to other charges and fees as a requisite
for resumption of services.
(i) The department shall maintain a record of all deposits
received from customers, showing
the name of each customer, the location of the premises occupied by the customer at the time the
deposit was required and each successive location while the deposit is retained, and the date and
amount of deposit.
(j) Each customer posting a security deposit shall
receive in writing at the time of tender of
deposit receipts as evidence thereof, which, where applicable, contains the following minimum
(1) Name of customer.
(2) Place of payment.
(3) Date of payment.
(4) Amount of payment for fees and
In addition, each customer shall sign a service agreement which states the terms
governing the retention, payment and return of deposits.
(k) The department shall apply deposit standards uniformly
as a condition of utility service to
(Code 1964, § 15.840; Ord. No. 9786, § 1, 4-18-83; Ord. No. 10010, §
1, 12-5-83; Ord. No.
13243, § 1, 2-3-92; Ord. No. 16851, § 1, 4-2-01; Ord. No. 18513; § 1, 5-16-05;
Ord. No. 21431, §
(Ord. 21431, Amended, 09/17/2012, Prior Text; Ord. 18513, Amended, 05/16/2005, Prior Text; Ord. 16851, Amended, 04/02/2001, Prior Text)