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SEC. 27-28.   NONPAYMENT OF UTILITY BILLS - ESSENTIAL UTILITY SERVICE.
   (a)   The owner or property manager of a master metered apartment building commits an offense if he fails to pay a utility bill and the nonpayment results in the interruption to any dwelling unit of a utility service essential to the habitability of the dwelling unit and to the health of the occupants.  Essential utility services are gas, electric, and water and wastewater services.
   (b)   The owner or property manager of a master metered apartment building who violates Subsection (a) is guilty of a separate offense for each dwelling unit to which utility service is interrupted.
   (c)   It is a defense to prosecution under this section that the tenant occupying a dwelling unit to which utility service is interrupted is in arrears in rent to the owner or property manager of the master metered apartment building. (Ord. Nos. 18591; 19234; 25522)