Hello All -
I have a 75 unit mobile home community that is comprised of about 50 MH lots and 25 RV lots. For the RV lots, we currently bear the costs for water, sewer, electric and trash. Historically the costs have not been outrageous, but as we are filling up the spots (and as this winter has been very cold), the electric bill has increased dramatically. I am wondering if anyone has had success charging RV tenants for an "electricity charge" of some sort ... maybe just a flat "$50 charge for electricity hookup and use" ... while not billing them for the actual electricity used, because then I know you are entering a dangerous territory of being deemed a utility company and no one wants that.
Thanks in advance for any ideas and responses!!!
call around to other MHP's that have RV spaces in there and see what the market is doing. If they are doing something similar, then do that. See if they are charging back for utilities. IF they are then do it as well as long as your market rates for space rent is around the same or below market. If you are below market in your space rent, you could just charge a higher rate to offset the amount of the utilities.
@Patrick McKenna would the charge be monthly or one time? I'm assuming monthly.
I agree with @Ryan Groene about increasing your space rent. If just for the marketing fact that no one likes to have one price quoted for space rent then pull in and have fees pile up.
To avoid the legality aspect contact the NCMHA. They can provide a state-wide perceptive on the situation.
If you call the charge a utility charge you need to really follow the rules. You can allocate or sub-meter. In some states you will be allowed to add a fee equal to a % of the bill for this 'service'. If you overcharge it can be huge problems.
Some states will require you have 12 months of bills on site to prove the allocation rates. There are also rules on stopping leaks if your allocating water and if your using water for the office you need to account for it. Same with trash, sewer and electric.
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