Get FREE Stuff! Run Credit Report Rental Forms Vacancy Center Shop & Buy!

Information Center-FREE Articles! HomeDo-It-Yourselfe-Forms CenterEvicting Your TenantLandlord Discussion BoardInformation CenterJOIN Landlord.comLandlord LawLibraryMulti-FamilyProfessional AdviceRental & Property MgmtRent CollectionRepair & MaintenanceSecurity DepositSoftware CenterTenant ScreeningVacancy CenterVacation HomesWhat's New



There are many landlords who rent individual units which share utility meters. A house, subdivided into three rental units, might only have one meter, and the cost of separate metering may be prohibitive. The utility expense must be absorbed and paid by someone. The issue is how best to do it while preserving what is usually an inexpensive and useful housing option for the tenants.

Often, this is accomplished by the landlord dividing the utility bill for the house by three and presenting a statement to each of the three tenants. This method has a number of things going against it.

In most jurisdictions this type of utility subdistribution is illegal. Just as only doctors can charge medical fees, lawyers legal fees, and architects architectural fees, so have utilities been granted a monopoly on charging for utility service distribution. The subdistribution of utilities for a consideration is usually a violation of law, and in many jurisdictions, a crime. Some municipalities have enacted ordinances which impose draconian penalties for such arrangements.

The prudent landlord with such a building to let will look at his utility usage history and set the rental rate at a level that will reimburse him for the utilities that he, himself, pays. When the premises are rented, they are rented at a fixed rate, "utilities included." If utility usage increases, a notice of rent increase to cover the extra cost is in order. Most such arrangements involve month to month or other periodic tenancies which permit such rent increases at modest cost in effort.

Do You Need Some More Help or Have a Question?  Yes. I have another question. Please take me to one of your experts now.

What did you think of this article or do you have anything to a
dd? Your comments and suggestions for future topics and articles would be greatly appreciated.

Back To Alphabetical  Back To Category