over the past four months I have acquired 5 rental properties. I am currently seeking the best ways to handle the water bill. what are some ways that you may or may not incorporate the water bill into the tenants rent?
Determine the average use for the past year, increase the rent by that amount, include it in the rent.
If there's two or more rentals sharing a meter, same process but you split the bill equally among them.
Second what Nathan said above. To be sure this is clear though, if any of the properties are single family homes with their own water meters then simply have the tenant start the utility in their name.
@Will Fraser I appreciate the information thank you!
My water bills are tied to the property, so if the tenants don't pay, I have to. I simply bill the tenant for the full amount each bill and they add that to their rent. If tenants aren't good at budgeting (my bills are quarterly), add the base amount to the rent and then have them pay overages.
@Nathan G. To duplexes with separate meters and a single family. My only concern is if the water goes higher than expected.
@Justin Reader here's more help.
Say the average water bill is $60 a month.
Split it in half and then add 10-15% to cover excess use. Each tenant pays $35 a month and it's included in rent. If you look at a water bill, most of the charges are base fees so the tenants are paying less than they would if they had their own meter.
Then add a simple clause to your lease that says anything above that amount may be passed on to the tenants separately. If the bill goes up $5, then you may just eat the difference. If it goes up $100 and it's due to the tenant's toilet running constantly, then you may decide to pass it on to that tenant. If you can't determine who's responsible, split it equally. If it's due to a broken pipe or something the tenant has no control over, then you may eat it.
This gives you the flexibility.