I am looking at my first duplex that was converted into a SFH. I plan to convert it back to a duplex; however, all of the utilities are set up for a SFH now. Should I have the utility companies add another line or should I pay the utilities for the tenants? Also, if I pay the utilities, do I add that charge to the rent? How is this typically handled?
FYI my city wont submeter water in duplexes, so our options are to use a private submetering company or split the bill using a system like "ratio unit billing system" aka RUBS which is what I do, but its a nuisance.
I would separate the gas and electric...so your tenants can pay it in themselves. My tenants do that now.
I'm not sure about water. In my state, the landlord has to pay the water bill.
@Nicky Reader thank you! I will look into the splitting for the water and check with the electric and gas companies on submetering. I Was thinking that was going to me my approach; however, I wasn’t sure what was typically done.
@Brittany R. thank you for responding! I want the tenants to be responsible for the utilities, not me. I will check the state landlord laws on how to charge for water.
Great. Let us know how it goes!
Here's why I will NEVER pay a tenant's utilities;
First starting out years ago I had a large 3 fam house that was fully rented. I paid the heat. During the winter, we wore sweats in our own home and kept an eye on the thermostat.
While collecting rent one February, in one apartment the tenant answered the door in shorts and a t-shirt. I went into the apartment and saw a window open. (Note: the thermostat was in a locked box set at 69 degrees in a different apartment.)
I asked him why the window was open when it was 20 degrees outside. "It got too hot in here so we opened the window."
@Marc Winter - lol, thanks for sharing! 😆
If the utility companies will split it back up I'd do that for sure.