Sub-metering Water in Connecticut

7 Replies

Hi everyone, I'm looking at a 3-unit in New London. During due diligence I've discovered that the water/sewer costs average $180/month for the building. This sounds high to me. The town confirmed that there are usage spikes (2X) in the Summer, probably filling kiddie pools or similar. The town also said that the usage is nearly twice that of an identical property next door. My questions for the community:

  1. Do the costs sound out of line?
  2. Does anyone have experience with sub-metering water in CT? How did it go?
  3. Any other thoughts to bring down the costs? I'd like to cut them in 1/2 to better align with my pro forma and what appear to be local averages. 

Hi Jaysen, 

Submettering works everywhere. Usually the company just takes the water bill and directly bills each tenant a portion based on how many people live there. The only concern I have with it is your rental’s desirability by not including water in the rent. Just something to consider, it’s a pretty easy process.

-Angelo  

Our New London 6 unit averages about $30-40 per unit per month, all 1 and 2 bed units. The duplex sees a bit higher, but each unit is 4 bedroom.  However not anywhere near the $60 per unit per month your seeing.

If/when you look at the property, check for running toilets and leaking faucets.  It might not seem like much, but it really can add up 24hr a day 7 days a week.  Removing an outside hose bib will also reduce the usage if one is there.

As far as sub-metering, the tenant population in NL will be very confused, water is almost exclusively included.  Not saying it'll be impossible, just saying it's definitely out of the norm.

-Dave

@Jaysen Medhurst Not sure about New London but in Bridgeport CT the sewer charge is also based on water consumption. 

We budget $55 per unit per month for both water and sewer combined.  

As David said there may be a running toilet somewhere. Well worth replacing flappers on all toilets anyway. 

Thanks for the replies, @Angelo Pozzuto , @David Wolber , and @Craig Bellot . I agree that sub-metering water might be a bit aggressive for the NL market at this time.

My working plan was to check confirm all the fixtures were not leaking and probably install low-flow shower heads...alas, an offer has been made and it doesn't look like this one will be mine. Oh well, on to the next.

In my duplex in Groton I found d that the tenant was washing his car everyday because of pollen. This doubled the water bill but submetering would be out of the norm. Even if it out of the norm I don't think anybody would care about 20 to $30 water bill. It's worth a try after you figure out where your water usage is. I am in the are if you need help with the plumping.

So i was just talking with a property inspector from the area yesterday at one of the properties I manage (the owner is selling), he's claiming submetering is 50/50 and he runs into it often.  I still think it's out of the norm, but apparently not unheard of.