How would someone charge Light and Water on this one?

4 Replies

Hi everyone! I have a duplex (3/2 each side) but I'm gonna reduce it to 2/1 each side, and build a studio with kitchen on each side. Normally those studios are called an "Efficiency" here, and they include all utilities, and normally that's easy because the owner lives in the big side, and just pays for everything, but in my case, I'll have tenants on both side.

I doubt that whoever builds those units for me will be able to have separate light and water meters for the 2 studios. Has someone ever have to deal with something like this?

Thanks!

Originally posted by @Carlos C. :

Hi everyone! I have a duplex (3/2 each side) but I'm gonna reduce it to 2/1 each side, and build a studio with kitchen on each side. Normally those studios are called an "Efficiency" here, and they include all utilities, and normally that's easy because the owner lives in the big side, and just pays for everything, but in my case, I'll have tenants on both side.

I doubt that whoever builds those units for me will be able to have separate light and water meters for the 2 studios. Has someone ever have to deal with something like this?

Thanks!

Is it common in your area to have "illegal" units?  In my area if you get caught by the city doing this they will make you reconvert it back.

If you are doing it illegally you probably will not get the meters split (my area requires construction permits on approved dwelling units to get additional meters) so you would need to include utilities in all the rents

Brie Schmidt, Real Estate Agent in Illinois (#471.018287) and Wisconsin (#57846-90)

Split the utility bills with each 2/1 tenant and build the other half into the studio rents. Yes, it will go up and down each month but try to find a comfortable average. Good luck.

You will need to pull permits.   The city bldg dept will find out due to creating a new address with the post office and the utility companies.  With the new work you will be able to add new meters.  I would add the meters and this will give you the option to pay the utilities or not.

@Carlos C. In the unit I have that has shared water I monitored how much water usage was throughout a year, and then charged a little under 50% for the lowest cost month. You end up paying more out of pocket in the summer, but you don't run the risk of making a profit on utilities (illegal from what I understand) and they have a defined amount that they can expect to pay each month.

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