​Utilitie Bill Woes in New Hampshire

3 Replies

I bought a quad in Rye last year and it’s been reasonably smooth sailing until about last week. In my lease I have it that tenant pays ALL utilities; I have the water metered so I have to charge back the tenants every month. Read the meter, break up the bill as usage, and post to Cozy. I have one tenant that has paid the bill but only after being reminded over and over again. Well tomorrow is the last day of the grace period and he hasn’t returned any calls or text about paying, the outstanding water bill. So I have contacted my attorney, and as I type this he’s, drafting up an eviction letter stating breach of contract and he has 7 days to pay the bill or the real eviction will take place. He has paid this months rent but not the water bill. Has one else had this scenario happen to them? Thanks BP 

It happens all the time.  Hopefully your attorney has made sure that your lease contains the provision that he is responsible for his share of the water bill, and/or that the water bill is considered to be additional rent.  the 7 day notice is called a Notice to Evict, and when you get more experienced (don't try on your first, you are smart to learn the process from your attorney), you'll be able to do your own evictions.  Forms and information are posted on the NH state website here:  

https://www.courts.state.nh.us/district/landlord.h...

While you didn't ask, water can be submetered in NH.  I have two properties where the units receive their own water bill from the water utility.  The downside is if one tenant gets his water turned off, it is the shutoff to the entire building, so you have to stay on top of it and make sure that doesn't happen.  


I'm not 100% sure that your method of apportioning out a percentage of the water use would hold up in court, perhaps your attorney has been through that and can advise.  How do you know how much water that tenant has actually used?  He could be someone who is conservative, while the other tenants have kids and car washes and lawn sprinklers.  That would lead to his resentment about paying a set percentage and his not paying the billing. 

Just a thought......

 

Thanks for the reply Ann, it all worked out. With some back and forth arguing he did end up paying his portion of the bill. I have an attorney on deck that I used to go to school with that helps me out and if I needed to evict he would be the first person I turn to, I hope I never have to evict someone but not paying what you owe is a pet peeve of mine. But realistically I know I might have to one day.

Yes water can be sub-metered as long as I don’t profit from it directly. I do have a late fee if they don’t pay up on time, but that’s more incentive to pay me so I can pay the water company. The bill for the building comes to me so I pay it directly so the buildings water doesn’t get turn off but I do have it in my lease that if it was to get turned off that I’m not liable because they have to put the utilities in their name.

I had meters installed so I read the meters and do the math percentage wise to get how much each unit uses so everyone is happy. If someone is using their water for car washs or other such activities (I don’t have a lawn with this property it’s all pavement so we don’t have sprinklers haha) then they would be billed accordingly. I wouldn’t want someone who is doing the right thing, being conservative with the water, to get billed for someone else carelessness, hence the meters

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