CA Gov't Code Section 43008


A lien on real property that results from the delinquency in payment of rates or charges, or the collection of future rates or charges, whether or not added to the tax assessment rolls, for water or other utility services supplied to the owners or occupants of real property by a utility owned or operated by a city, as defined in Section 53368, or a city and county, except a lien to discharge bonded indebtedness, shall be subordinate to any prior recorded lien on the property.


A city or city and county may provide that upon the transfer of fee title as evidenced by recordation of a grant deed, trustee’s deed of sale, or other similar instrument, or upon transfer of the utility service of a property containing a master-metered, multifamily residential building of over four units, which building is provided water or power, or both, by a municipal utility owned or operated by a city or city and county, the transferee shall be required to notify the municipal utility of the change in title or service within 30 days of the transfer. The municipal utility may require such a transferee to deposit with the utility, as security, up to six months of estimated reasonable utility charges with the utility, which deposit may be held by the utility for a period not to exceed two years. The utility may extend the requirement for the security deposit for an additional two years if the owner has been more than 30 days delinquent two or more times within the deposit period. The utility may also waive the security deposit requirement, at its discretion. In the event a deposit is required of the transferee and the deposit is not paid, or the transferee fails to notify the utility within the time period provided, the utility shall have the right to record a lien against the property for the amount of the required deposit. The lien shall take effect only upon proper recordation in the county recorder’s office in which the property is located, and shall be subordinate to all prior recorded liens on the property. The failure of the transferee to provide notice to the utility of the transfer or to provide the security deposit shall not affect the validity of the transfer of title to the transferee or the priority of liens on the property existing prior to recordation of the utility’s lien. To the extent not inconsistent herewith, the existing rights of a city-owned or county-owned utility regarding imposition of a security deposit are preserved. This subdivision shall not apply to transfers of title or service to court-appointed receivers.


This section shall not be construed as evidence that an ordinance providing for priority liens which was enacted prior to January 1, 1996, was invalid or valid from the time of its enactment until January 1, 1996, and nothing in this section shall require a refund of any moneys collected pursuant to such an ordinance.
Last Updated

Aug. 19, 2023

§ 43008’s source at ca​.gov