When can I start billing back water/sewer bills?

4 Replies

Hello BP!

I'm going to be closing on a property perhaps next month. The property in question does not have water sub-meters, but I'll install them soon after closing. Currently the owner is paying for the water and sewer bills for the entire property (including the tenants). Most of the tenants are on a year lease. My goal is to install the sub-meters and start billing back the water and sewer bills to the tenant as soon as possible.

My question is: after closing when can I start billing the water and sewer bills back to the tenants? Right away? 30 days? 60 days? 90 days?

I appreciate the insight!

If tenants are on a previous lease where it is stated that the landlord/owner pays for the water and sewer, you have to honor the previous lease until expired.

@Henry Chi can I bill back the tenants that are month to month now, then once the other tenants’ leases expire can I bill the w/s bills back?

Month to month, of course you can bill them. I think you are required to give a minimal 30 day notice. Check with your local guidelines. Typically 60 days is more ideal. Another option is to increase rents with water and sewer built in. Definitely check out other competitors to see what they are doing. If they include water and sewer and you require tenants to pay it, you will lose your tenants and future prospects. Tenants tend to like a fixed monthly rent even if it is a bit higher to include the utilities, as long as it is still competitive with the market.

@Henry Chi thank you for the insight!

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