Charging for Utilities

7 Replies

We agreed to charge our tenants for the utilities including water, electric and gas. We sent them the bills and they are saying they should not have to pay the sewer and the refuse fee on the water bill but should only be responsible for the water line item. I'm looking for feedback/advice on how should we handle this situation? Thank you!


@Daren Weintraub hopefully that will be the only problem. Chalk it up to lessons learned and hopefully, it doesn't ruin the year, but sadly looks like they are following the lease to the T and that is what it says. Good luck getting rid of them at the end of the lease.

I would tell them that sewer is "waste water" service and that this service cannot be provided without water. So, its a moot point they're making because a sewer sitting there without water is just a pipe. 

The lease is the governing document. It states what the tenant pays for. The deal you made is to charge for the front end (water supply) and not the back end (sewer). It doesn't matter that water flows into the sewer.

@James Mc Ree To make matters worse we moved in at the same time they did on 10-26-20. The water bill is dated from 9-9-20 to 12-07-20. They are insisting they should only pay around 1/3 of their portion even though the water was not used until they moved in. I can't wait to get them out when their lease is up in July!

Yea that's a difficult scenario then. They are trying to follow the lease to the T it seems and will avoid anything "extra" that would have to be paid.

@Daren Weintraub I would treat the situation carefully and maintain rapport with them. Get them on the track of moving out so that you don't have to deal with this again.

One thing I have learned the hard way, is training your tenants; when you do the initial walk-through for a "statement of condition" on the unit, set-up payments, and go over the lease to be signed - make sure you and the tenants are on the SAME page before signing the lease. If they don't play ball then that's your last chance to bail and refuse renting to them.

They should have no questions about what to pay, when to pay it, how to pay it, where to pay it, and what your expectations are for this exactly.