Multi family utilities

5 Replies

Hi,

I'm considering investing in a multi family property in Orlando from OOS. The way the house is setup is such that there is only one electric meter for 3 units and the listing agents says that the tenants pay based on the percentage of space and I was also told that it is fairly common in Orlando area?

Can someone from the area comment on whether it is true? Also, if you have a property manager in Orlando area that you recommend, could you please send me their contact info?

Thanks

I'm not from the area, but I can offer you a way to do some research. 

Sounds like a RUBS system is in place. It stands for Ratio Utility Billing System, and it's a thing. Google that, and read up!

Investing in a multi with separate meters will simplify your business down the road. Simple is always better when you have the option.

Do your own research do not take the advice of agents at face value.

First things first: have an electrician come out to see if it’s possible to sub meter. Depending on how the current wiring is ran it may reasonably affordable to sub meter.

Billing the tenants every month sounds like a headache, especially when you will likely get into a “he said she said” situation with why the utility bill is so high.

If you can’t sub meter then raise rent accordingly to include it all and put processes in place to help control utility usage. (Lock box on thermostat)

My father is an electrician and while I’m not one myself I think he has been able to put meters on existing lines and whatnot to help gauge who is using what. Idk if this is true or not but could be worth looking into 🤷🏻‍♂️

If there's only one meter in the property there's also the possibility that it's not a legal triplex, which is also common to Florida. I would check in the county website and verify that before investing. As far as I know, sub meters are not legal. Any new meter is supposed to be installed by the power company ( FPL, Duke or other).

I'd personally stay away from a property that has issues with electric meters.

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