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Sub-metering water on mobile home park

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Jason Robinett

Real Estate Investor from Renton, Washington

Nov 08 '11, 01:32 PM


I've recently purchased a 17 unit senior mobile home park. My operating expenses are mainly water sewer garbage. I'd like to extend the cost of the water to the lot renters by submetering each unit and sending them a bill (or having a third party do it) I was wondering, who has done this, how much I'm looking at spending, are permits needed, where can I go about getting the best deal on hardware (should I use a wireless meter which gathers data 4 times a day that I can review from home?), etc. I've completed a few google searches and a few searches on here to come up with very little helpful information. I'd like some feedback from those who have done it. The process does not seem hard, but better to know what not to do before jumping in head first :).

Thanks,

Jason



Dale Osborn

Mobile Home Investor from Spanaway, Washington

Nov 08 '11, 08:46 PM


Jason:

Was this the old Lee Meadows MHP near 99th & Pacific? I had looked at that one in 2009. In Jan 2011, I started billing back water, sewer & trash in Lakewood, WA. I did not submeter, I have divided the bills by the total number of lots and included the office as a lot. This method was approved by the State Attorney General's office also. The trash was not being covered and individuals had to provide their own trash can. Now the trash company provides a container that can be picked up and dumped using the mechanical arms and driver usually does not have to even get out of the vehicle. With this new method I will be billing back the same way for trash like I did for the water & sewer. The trash company has three ways they can count each trash can. If top is closed - 1-can. If top is ajar - 2-cans. If top is ajar and extra bag on the side - 3-cans. There is no way I can collect a set dollar amount each month to cover these numerous variations. So Jan 2012, the trash will be billed back using the same method. In WA, you can only make these changes on the anniversary dates of their leases unless it has been over a year and you have the separate page signed changing it to a month-to-month lease at the end of their first year. If you try to make changes in the middle of the lease - you will find yourself in hot water with the state.



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