Power/water for triplex common areas?

6 Replies

Hey BP,

I’m closing on a triplex in Akron soon, our first multi-family, and was wondering how utilities for shared/common areas were handled. I’m sure for commercial apartments, there is a separate electrical box paid by the landlord. What about smaller properties?

I’m considering putting in coin-op laundry units in the basement and wondering who pays for the water and electricity? Should it be separated Do others just leave it connected to one unit? Maybe offer a rent discount for that unit’s usage?

Thanks.  

I have 2 4-unit one-bedrooms with no landlord electric service. It was going to be really expensive due to the set up to add a new meter. So in preparation for adding laundry services we just decided to offer one unit utilities included. When I marketed the unit utilities included I had 3 times as much interest as I normally do. I told the applicants that it is cheaper to pay their own utilities and they don't care. Residents LOVE the convenience of one bill.  I'm making more money that way.

In my higher-end, larger duplexes that have washer/dryer hookups and attract families, I am submetering water and including no utilities.

Originally posted by @Aaron Hale :

Hey BP,

I’m closing on a triplex in Akron soon, our first multi-family, and was wondering how utilities for shared/common areas were handled. I’m sure for commercial apartments, there is a separate electrical box paid by the landlord. What about smaller properties?

I’m considering putting in coin-op laundry units in the basement and wondering who pays for the water and electricity? Should it be separated Do others just leave it connected to one unit? Maybe offer a rent discount for that unit’s usage?

Thanks.  

 You're gonna end up paying the water. As for electricity & laundry set it up so that you run 3 separate hook ups off of each tenants electrical panel and then have them supply their own washer & dryers.

Thanks, @James Wise Sounds like a good plan. A few follow up questions:

1. In a common use basement, any worry about tenants simply tossing their laundry into their neighbors machines to save on electricity?

2. Would coin-op machines in a triplex be worth the cost/trouble?

Thanks. Love the videos, by the way. Keep‘em coming. 

Originally posted by @Aaron Hale :

Thanks, @James WiseSounds like a good plan. A few follow up questions:

1. In a common use basement, any worry about tenants simply tossing their laundry into their neighbors machines to save on electricity?

2. Would coin-op machines in a triplex be worth the cost/trouble?

Thanks. Love the videos, by the way. Keep‘em coming. 

1. Yea I guess. Tenants do dumb crap all the time but it's not really gonna be the biggest worry on your plate in the grand scheme of things. We have dealt with that & also panty stealing & theft of each other's laundry detergent. Panty stealing isn't as common as normal theft like when they steal each others laundry detergent but you just gotta tell them it's common space & not to leave anything down there & then tell the panty thieves you're gonna throw their dumb*** out if they don't stop being creepy.

2. No. Unit is too small to get a high volume of usage that would make the expense of buying and maintain the machines worthwhile. Also note that sometimes the tenants break into the coin boxes.

3. Thanks for the love. Glad you dig the videos.

Originally posted by @James Wise:
Originally posted by @Aaron Hale:

Thanks, @James WiseSounds like a good plan. A few follow up questions:

1. In a common use basement, any worry about tenants simply tossing their laundry into their neighbors machines to save on electricity?

2. Would coin-op machines in a triplex be worth the cost/trouble?

Thanks. Love the videos, by the way. Keep‘em coming. 

1. Yea I guess. Tenants do dumb crap all the time but it's not really gonna be the biggest worry on your plate in the grand scheme of things. We have dealt with that & also panty stealing & theft of each other's laundry detergent. Panty stealing isn't as common as normal theft like when they steal each others laundry detergent but you just gotta tell them it's common space & not to leave anything down there & then tell the panty thieves you're gonna throw their dumb*** out if they don't stop being creepy.

2. No. Unit is too small to get a high volume of usage that would make the expense of buying and maintain the machines worthwhile. Also note that sometimes the tenants break into the coin boxes.

3. Thanks for the love. Glad you dig the videos.

 Also as a follow up to what I said above. When the tenants have a shared unit what ends up happening is they go down there to do their own laundry and see that the other tenant left their laundry in there and they just throw it on the floor or throw it in the laundry sink. Which of course leads to more tenant disputes and sometimes a sock or some underwear ends up clogging the drain so when the washer drains it floods the room. Note that this stuff happens with a much higher frequently then the panty or electricity theft.

@James Wise I got my favorite hoodie out of a dorm dryer on my floor at BGSU! Haha! It almost makes me think I should just partition off the basement, three separate laundry rooms keyed to the units. 

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