Author Topic: Ratio Utility Billing  (Read 1207 times)

CheapTrick

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Ratio Utility Billing
« on: June 21, 2016, 05:10:07 PM »
I live in an apartment complex that uses Ratio Utility Billing (RUBS). Basically, they divide their total utility bill by a factor accounting for your occupancy or size of apartment to determine your "fair share." (I don't think it's very fair, actually - 2 people pay only 1.6 times as much as I do, and I also know that many people have SO not on their lease staying in the apartment. That doesn't affect rent, but does impact this calculation).

I pay a $5.48 fee every single month to a third party whose sole job is to generate the statements and do collections for the management company. This fee accounts for at least 10% of my bill every month. To me, this is something the management company should pay for. They get a portion of my rent to manage the whole process, why should I pay an additional admin fee on top of that? Sure, it's in the lease (I checked), although they do not specify the amount of the fee. I could have been charged $100 a month admin fee and not be able to stop them!

My question is for anyone who has dealt with such a system: what is considered a reasonable fee for the administration of RUBS? Landlords, have you been quoted for this service?

In the future, I'll avoid ever having an apartment with such a system. I dislike not being able to benefit from conserving energy myself, and I think that charging such a high fee for creating the bill is nuts. This is not even for paying with a credit card or anything, just a fee tacked on every month.

By the way, I looked up the company on BBB and Yelp and they have quite a few negative reviews. It's American Utility Management, Inc.

tonysemail

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Re: Ratio Utility Billing
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 05:15:21 PM »
I do this for my tenants for free.

srob

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Re: Ratio Utility Billing
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2016, 12:54:35 PM »
I have some apartments and use a submetering service, which is a little different bc they actually measure the tenants' heat usage and calculate their portion of the gas bill. They charge the tenants $5/mo for this.

iamlindoro

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Re: Ratio Utility Billing
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2016, 02:50:58 PM »
I have some apartments and use a submetering service, which is a little different bc they actually measure the tenants' heat usage and calculate their portion of the gas bill. They charge the tenants $5/mo for this.

Same here, for water and sewer.  Required (in my case) paying for meters + install, about $250 per unit total.  Seemed like the more fair approach than RUBS.  Tenants have been fine with it in one property (a side-by-side duplex) and pretty difficult about it on another (an up/down duplex).  Landlords in the area generally pay for water and sewer in multifamily, so it presented some challenges. 

On the up/down duplex, I ended up renewing leases with a clause saying I would pay up to $x per month in water and sewer, and the tenants would be charged for the overage.  I estimate it will add about $30-40/month/unit to my cash flow, and incentivizes the tenants to save, all while being responsible only for their own usage.