Mayor: Don’t Shut Off Utilities

By Post Staff

Mayor Ron Dellums is calling on Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the East Bay Municipal Utility District to place a moratorium of up to 120 days on turning off utilities for foreclosed properties in Oakland.

“We need to ensure that tenants in Oakland have water, light and heat even if their landlords have failed to make utility payments because their property has been foreclosed, “ said Mayor Dellums.In multi-family apartments with single meters, tenants are at the mercy of landlords to make their utility payments, he said. “We need to make sure that tenants have an opportunity to make their own arrangements with the various utilities if the landlord fails to make payment.”

The termination of utilities at a tenant-occupied foreclosed property will automatically be considered a significant threat to the health or safety of the residents and the public, according to a statement issued by the Mayor and City Attorney called the “City of Oakland’s Public Health and Safety Declaration for Utilities.”

“Until Dec. 31, 2010, neither EBMUD nor PG&E shall terminate the utilities at a tenant occupied foreclosed property where the owner was responsible for utility payments for the duration of 120 days from the date of the first notice provided to tenants at the address of service,” the statement said.