May 21

Perhaps I wasn’t clear in the original post.

This law only affects separately metered municipal utilities in tenant occupied units. Nothing has changed in how you handle utility cost for joint metered utilities. What you are doing now is permitted as long as disclosed in advance of signing the lease.

With the enactment of this legislation separately metered municipal services can now be directly billed to the tenants by the local governments, similar to how separate gas or electric accounts are billed to tenants by WE Energies*. This makes it more practical to have tenants pay their own sewer and water with less potential that you will find their unpaid bills on your property taxes*.

This change will initially affect many single family rentals where owners already have tenants responsible for their own sewer and water bills. With minimal costs owners of duplexes can take advantage of the new law by having a plumber separate the water supply and install a second meter. Then those duplex tenants could be billed directly by the municipality.

I would be surprised if many multi unit owners will incur the costs of this work, at least initially. But just like separating gas and electric, duplexes were the first to be retrofitted followed by more and more multi unit buildings

The net result should be more conservation, that ultimately results in more rate increases. ;-(

“The additional revenue is needed to offset declining water sales in the face of rising costs, officials said.”

*This is now similar, but not exactly the same as how a WE Energies account is handled. The new law does NOT completely eliminate the ability of the municipality to place the charges on the property.

Jan 09

Attorney Tristan Pettit is presenting the Landlord Boot Camp again this February.  Prior Boot Camps were very well received, with positive feed back from all that attended

Continue reading »

Oct 26

What the law is and how to deal with WE Energies.

A couple of years ago a bunch of owners came to me all with a similar problems.  They had properties with separate utilities, yet WE Energies was attempting to collect utility bills from them that should not have been the owners’ responsibility.

If only they knew the rules they would have less headaches. So I wrote a lengthy email on the subject and posted it on the ApartmentAssoc at email list.  Out of my frustration with email formating this became the first post on this site back in February 2008.

This problem seemed to have diminished for a while, but judging from owners I have spoken to recently it is back… with vengeance.  But if you know the rules and follow them you will never have to pay for a utility bill that is not yours.  Continue reading »

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