I've been looking into installing RUBS to increase the NOI. It looks great on paper even with the expenses, but I don't know when it will be acceptable. Would it be strategically smart to always bill back tenants? Should I lower rents and bill back? Does that matter?
I would like to hear from experienced investors who installed rubs and those who didn't against it. Thank you
Generally the market determines if it is acceptable. If you're the only all bills paid property around then RUBS is likely possible. Do you have any other amenities that allows you to compete with your comps? If not then maybe staying ABP is that 'amenity'. It is good that you understand that implementing RUBS is raising the overall rental costs and are considering lowering the rents. If your submarket doesn't fully support RUBS I still think it's a good idea to consider lowering rents and implementing it because tenants that are forced to think about their water and electricity usage tend to use less of it. In the end you'll likely save more from the utilities than you lose from lowering rent.