Multi-Family has only 1 heating system!

1 Reply

I've recently purchased my first 2 family home, and it has only one heating system. There are 2 electrical services, but only one gas and water meter.  I'll be occupying the much smaller upstairs unit on this up / down style property.  I am strongly leaning towards doing an electric heating system for the upstairs apartment. currently there's a gas boiler with the old cast iron radiator steam heat.  And as far as I'm concerned, this is a pretty efficient type of heat, however, the 1930's home isn't very well insulated.  And the average monthly heating bill comes out to around $200 / mo.  (so around $60-$80 in the warmer months and upwards of $300+ in the cold winter) I'm in New England btw, so we do get cold winters.  

I could get this done for roughly $4000.  Between the electric base-boards themselves, the electric water heater, wiring / some piping etc.  I will only be living in the property for less than 2 years. So to have the gas bill in the first floor tenants name, and have the only landlord responsible utility being water, I think its a no brainer.  I just want to hear some other peoples opinions on the matter!

Also, simply out of curiosity, how many of your properties have separately metered water? Its not TOO common where I live.  Although, there are some older properties, typically larger multi-families (4+) where it is separate. I know the most ideal scenario is to have ALL the utilities in the tenants name.  And I've heard of partial utility billing to the tenants (on single metered water mainly) is this something that is pretty typical in certain areas? Or with much larger buildings perhaps? 

-Matt

@Matt Romano If you want to change it and the numbers still work after the ~$4000 investment. Do it, it will save lots of costs down the line and you can entice future renters that are coming in with the new heating system that you put in.

Most places don't have separate water meters. I know some places do, but most of them don't. But then again, water is not that expensive, you're probably at around 500-800$ for the year depending on how you use of course. 

I would change it personally, if it won't cause too much a headache for the tenant there with the contractor coming in and doing it, if the plumber knows what he is doing .... 2 days max depending on how many electric ones he needs. He doesn't even need to connect them all which is great, the electrician comes and wires all of them to a thermostat and thats it.

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