Can a tenant claim refund on payments made to the municipal corporation which were to be paid by the landlord?

Full Question:

I have been living in a rented house for two years. My landlord was required to make some payments to the Pennsylvania municipal corporation, but as my landlord refused to pay, I had to make those payments. Am I entitled to ask for a refund for the amount paid by me to the municipal corporation?
01/19/2017   |   Category: Landlord Tenant   |   State: Pennsylvania   |   #30582

Answer:

In Pennsylvania, if a tenant makes a payment to a utility on account of nonpayment by the landlord, then the tenant is entitled to later recover the amount paid by him to the utility either by deducting the said amount from the rent or from the tax payment he needs to make or from the operating expenses. The relevant statutory provisions in this regard are stated below.

68 P.S. § 399.9 reads:

“Any tenant who has made a payment to a utility on account of nonpayment by the landlord ratepayer pursuant to this act may subsequently recover the amount paid to the utility either by deducting said amount from any rent or payment on account of taxes or operating expenses then or thereafter due from such tenant to the person to whom he would otherwise pay his rent or by obtaining reimbursement from the landlord ratepayer.”

68 P.S. § 399.2 defines the term Public utility as:

“A municipal corporation now or hereafter owning or operating within its corporate boundaries equipment or facilities for:
     (1) Producing, generating, transmitting, distributing or furnishing natural or artificial gas, electricity, or steam for the production of light, heat, or power to or for the public for compensation.
     (2) Diverting, developing, pumping, impounding, distributing, or
   furnishing water to or for the public for compensation.”
 
In the given instance, you are entitled to ask for refund of the amount paid by you to the municipal corporation.