Hi everyone, I am currently under contract for a 4 unit property, looking to bill back the tenants for their utilities each month via RUBS if I find the cost to install individual sub meters to be too high (In the process of getting quotes). The property is in Hanford, CA. My question is two fold;
1) How have those if you that have switched from owner pays utilities to RUBS or Sub-meters informed the tenants of the changes and what advice would you have if you were to do it again.
2) Do you have any recommendations as to companies that you use for either(sub-metering or RUBS)? All the way from software to billing? Or do you just do the calculations yourself on Excel? Do you property managers (if you have one) just do it for you?
Note: Since California passed AB 1482 this year (rent control), one cannot simply add a flat fee to the rent to cover utility costs, to my understanding, as this would be considered part of the max increase to the rent alone. And yes, other properties nearby charge for utilities (mostly sub-metered) so my property wouldn’t be the only one around doing it.
Thank you all for your replies in advance!
@Connor Deneen obviously as you alluded to, the best way will be to properly sub meter the property. The main issue you will probably run into is that a lot of older buildings don't have water lines going to each apartment. If you are lucky enough to have both cold and hot water lines separated out then this should be fairly straight forward for your plumber to do.
Here in Chicago I know one land lord that is billing back water, trash and gas to his tenants. He uses app folio and the software does the calculation for him in a reasonably automated way. He posts the bill once a month in the common area and I believe bills back 95% of the total so as not to go over 100%.
Thanks for the reply John, I’ll look into AppFolio, fingers crossed that this inspection turns up separate hot and cold water lines!