Getting Tenants to Pay for Gas Heat - Posted by Bill York

Posted by Kathy on April 11, 1999 at 18:59:56:

I just learned of a landlord who was selling his duplex that he charges tenants for utilities in the following way: Brings them a copy of the bill and divides it up between number of people living in each apartment. He needs to go back (after collecting rent on the first) to do this, and if they don’t have the money right then he collects it with next month’s rent. I don’t think I’d like to have to deal with that. Maybe you should just raise rents proportionately to how much excess oil is used than you figured is reasonable.

Getting Tenants to Pay for Gas Heat - Posted by Bill York

Posted by Bill York on April 11, 1999 at 17:11:56:

I have a 12 unit apartment building with a central gas boiler and radiators in the apartments. The gas bill has been out of sight this winter.

Is there a way that each apartment can be billed for cost of heat. Someone said they had heard of a way to do it.

Any leads would be appreciated.

Re: Getting Tenants to Pay for Gas Heat - Posted by JPiper

Posted by JPiper on April 12, 1999 at 09:27:39:


I have a small 3 unit building with one furnace.

While I think separate meters is the best solution, I didn’t care for the cost. My solution was to make each unit responsible for 1/3 of the gas bill?.responsible in terms of the lease. I bill them individually on a monthly basis for their pro rata share by providing a copy of the bill that I paid (the bill is in my name).

I’ve experienced two problems with this method. One is that it creates a little extra work for me?but I’d rather do the work than pay the bill myself?.or be at the mercy of how high the tenants keep the heat.

The other problem was that one of the units is rented by a single gal. The others are rented by couples. At one point the single gal complained that she was paying the same as the other units for heat, but was using less than the other tenants. I was able to handle her complaint by pointing out some of the flaws in her argument.

When the current leases expire I may try to figure some alternate way to prorate the bill?perhaps based on square footage.

Not an ideal solution, but one that is working, and one that didn’t require me to separately meter.


Re: Getting Tenants to Pay for Gas Heat - Posted by Bill in Indiana

Posted by Bill in Indiana on April 11, 1999 at 18:25:36:

Bill finding that those gs bills would eat me up years ago because of tenants that seem more than a bit wasteful I decided to convert to a gas forced air so each unit had its own control and gas bill. It’s hard to bill them the same you can try it but somebody always think they got taken advantage of.It will cost you up front but should help you control costs in the long run. At least yo won’t get shocked with a large gas bill when you have the least amt of cash flow. I always try to split all util. because they are so hard to control.

Re: Getting Tenants to Pay for Gas Heat - Posted by Den

Posted by Den on April 12, 1999 at 16:17:57:

Trying to get tenants to pay for heat is, at best difficult, with out seperate boilers. I manage 5 apartment buildings with one boiler in each. In every one we have a little contraption called a mini-mizer. It controls the temp of the boiler, so no matter how high the tenants set the heat it will only get as warm as you want it to. Also it will turn off the heat as the temp outside gets above 55 deg or so.

Check with an electrical contractor or a local heating co.