MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- Vermont has a new law that ensures tenants have access to water even if their landlord doesn't pay the bill.
On Thursday, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a bill in to law that requires municipalities to accept payment from tenants for continued water service and allows them to deduct it from their rent without risk of being evicted.
The new law was prompted in part after a Barre woman had her water shut off after her landlord failed to pay the building's water bills.
The new law allows municipalities to request payment of one past due billing cycle, but tenants may also deduct those payments from their rent.
State Sen. Anthony Pollina, who co-sponsored the legislation, says the law balances the rights of tenants and municipalities.