Househacking a Triplex but paying too much in utility bills

4 Replies

Hello, I am currently house hacking a triplex. The tenants were already moved in before I bought the home. The electric is all separate but I am having to pay for the gas, water, sewer, and trash bill. I can manage to pay all the bills but I am wanting to know if it is possible if the gas can be paid by the tenants? There is only one gas meter BUT  Unit A is the main unit and is on the first floor, they have a thermostat in their unit and the furnace is located in the basement. Unit B is the other unit that has the other thermostat and the furnace to it is located in the attic. Since technology is getting better and better every day is it possible to get a zoned system with the Nest thermostat? Would like to know what other tenants have done? I think I have only two options and one would have to be raising the rent for the tenants or making it all electric and put some kind of lockbox on thermostats so tenants cant touch them.  Also once I move out, I wouldn't mind gaining a little bit more of a return if I didn't have to pay those extra bills. Thanks in advance for your help! 

@Moises Rodriguez - You have a couple options here. You can look at sub-metering and passing the costs on. Or look adding new systems so each unit is completely on its own set of utilities. Or set up a cost sharing in new leases, basically divide the shared utility bill across the units sharing a utility. 

I just renovated a triplex and went with having all the units separate. I had three electric meters, two gas meters, and one water meter already on the property. What I did was switch one unit to all electric, and get the other two with gas furnaces for the two gas meters. Then I added two new water meters so each unit now gets their own trash/water bill. I will add that I added a 4th house meter, which powers all the exterior lights which are on dusk to dawn sensors. 

submetering the gas and water will likely be your best options.  I don't know about your local laws but I would assume not allowing the tenants to access climate control may be illegal.

Thanks for your response guys! I called “spire” the gas company here in town and they are going to give me a call back within 5-10 business days! I also called some hvac companies here in town and most of them have no idea what sub metering is. I am definitely keeping my fingers crossed on the sub metering deal, sounds like the perfect option. Hopefully when i get the call back it will be good news!

You can also put in thermostats that limit thier control like landlordstat for a short term fix. They must have control if they pay for heat. You must keep it at your state /municipality standard if you pay. Not sure if they must have a thermostat in the case that you pay. Also i remind tenant that they must keep windows closed in winter.

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