Why do landlords pay for the tenants' water?

10 posts by 9 users

No avatar medium Account Closed
Indianapolis, IN
244 Posts
34 Votes
2 Awards

Account Closed

Apr 22 '08, 08:44 AM

I notice that water is paid by the landlord sometimes. Why and how would this benefit the landlord?

Edited Jun 26 2010, 05:05

Medium 1398786040 avatar newbie38 Anthony Stokes
Real Estate Investor from Auburn Hills, MI
37 Posts
0 Votes
1 Award

Anthony Stokes

Real Estate Investor from Auburn Hills, Michigan

Apr 22 '08, 09:22 AM

The water bill will always be attached to the property. Landlords pay the water because they do not trust the tenant to be responsible enough to pay it. If a landlord allows the tenant to pay the water and they continue to ignore the bill for whatever reasons, the landlord will have to eventually come out of pocket to clear it up :pissed:. One way to avoid having a large bill if you decide to have the tenant pay water, is to make the tenant get the water bill transferred in their name like all the other utilities.

Edited Jun 26 2010, 05:05

Medium 1398784765 avatar wheatie Jon Holdman
Investor from Wheat Ridge, CO
20931 Posts
11272 Votes
12 Awards

Jon Holdman Moderator

Investor from Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Apr 22 '08, 12:19 PM

Some areas require the water stay in the owners name. Others allow it to be transfered to the tenant. IMHO, you want the tenant to pay. Some areas allow a "landlord account" or "third party notification" that will cause it to revert to your name if the tenant doesn't pay.

Edited Jun 26 2010, 05:05

Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC

No avatar medium Tom C
Real Estate Investor OH
1068 Posts
61 Votes
3 Awards

Tom C

Real Estate Investor from Ohio

Apr 22 '08, 07:07 PM

In my area the landlord pays the water when it is multifamily and one meter or when the landlord does not have a dwelling permit and doesn't want the city to find out that they renting the place without one. In order for a tenant to get the water put in their name, they must show a lease agreement, then the water dept checks for a dwelling permit, if there isn't one, they contact the health dept and all hell breaks loose.

Edited Jun 26 2010, 05:05

Medium 1398865559 avatar ashamann01 Bob McIntosh
Real Estate Investor from Hoboken, NJ
230 Posts
3 Votes
2 Awards

Bob McIntosh

Real Estate Investor from Hoboken, New Jersey

Apr 22 '08, 08:15 PM

In my hometown if the tenant fails to pay for the water it is still attached to the landlord, and after enough time the city will place a lein against the property for the amount owed to the city for the water. More often than not, if the landlord is paying for the water then the rent has been increased to cover the average cost of the water being used. While this may not always be the case, it is what I have seen most often.

Edited Jun 26 2010, 05:05

Medium 1398787523 avatar slimjim43 Eric Wang
Real Estate Investor from San Jose, CA
228 Posts
10 Votes
1 Award

Eric Wang

Real Estate Investor from San Jose, California

Apr 22 '08, 09:59 PM
1 vote

Landlord pays since there is only 1 water meter to multi unit. Benefit would be the tax write off. Multi units in my area usually includes water and garage, so thats something I include in the rent and tenants like the fact it's included in the rent.

Edited Jun 26 2010, 05:05

Medium 1398787907 avatar dal1 Lynn Z
689 Posts
19 Votes
2 Awards

Lynn Z

Apr 26 '08, 09:08 AM

Yeh, tenants love the fact that water is included in the rent so they can bring their friends laundry over and wash their cars for "free" at their apartments.
Don't you just love em? In our city we used the revert to landlord program. I really didn't know it existed for awhile because they used to refuse to do it.

Water department no longer goes against the landlord for the unpaid bills.
What a relief.

Edited Jun 26 2010, 05:06

Medium 1398858784 avatar heathen Christian Malesic
Real Estate Investor from Harrisburg, PA
717 Posts
28 Votes
3 Awards

Christian Malesic

Real Estate Investor from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Apr 26 '08, 10:08 AM

We bought a 2 unit with a $4k water bill! It was attached to the property even though the seller (landlord) had a tenant pays clause in his lease.

We did not have to pay it, the seller did at the closing table; but, it is a scary thought.

In our area water bills must be in the owners name and sent to the owner address. In one of the municipalities it is quarterly whereas the others are monthly. Thus, to have the tenant pay it is usually done as a reimbursement as the owner needs to pay the bill within a deadline and the tenants are not that fast.

Edited Jun 26 2010, 05:06

Lynn Z

Apr 26 '08, 06:42 PM

My sister had a graduate student who rented a small house for a year and he had failed to pay the water bill for 8 months. She found out because we got a contract on the house and they didn't want to cut the water on for the new owner without that bill being paid.

She and her husband when down there and I ran into a university job locator who happened to mention where in New England he was working. When the water department got all of the information they didn't insist that the owner pay. The sewer for that area requires that it only be in the owner's name so that must be paid quarterly, scanned and paid by the tenant the next month.

If I went two months without paying my water bill they would cut off my water but some people get by with it. We always spell it out in the lease which utilities they pay but sometimes they're hopeful it's you.

Edited Jun 26 2010, 05:06

Medium 1448856192 avatar brooklynrocks Brooklyn R.
Lender from Brooklyn, NY
96 Posts
15 Votes
1 Award

Brooklyn R.

Lender from Brooklyn, New York

Nov 12 '15, 01:33 PM

There is a really good Thread on this:  Landlords should NEVER pay for their tenants' water (or any other service/utility that they use). Instead, they should pay the bill in full, then re-bill it to the tenants as 'Added-Rent' according to some fair apportionment (% of occupancy or square feet, for example).  

This can and should be done regardless of whether or not there are separate meters for each unit or not. "RUBS billing" or Ratio Utility Billing is perfect for this (google it)

Here's the thread:  https://www.biggerpockets.com/forums/52/topics/121...

Manage Keyword Alerts

View All Forums