Rental Property and Utilities

Thinking of setting up a rental property? A gentleman texted in to one of the weekly radio shows I take questions on saying that a friend of his had a house that he was going to make a rental property, but with multiple units. The question is: Does he have to set up every individual apartment with its own meters, its own thermostats?

The answer is yes if he’s going to try and charge them separately for the utilities. If he’s going to just have it all included in the rental payment, then he can … he’s paying for it, and he just charges whatever he wants per unit. You can’t have group tenants, in other words. You can’t have four tenants and you’re each going to try to charge them their own share of the electrical and the gas, because how are you ever going to come up with an equitable number for each?

Even if it was legal, it’s never going to work. You cannot do that. You have to either charge rent and include utilities or have separate utility. If he’s going to have a rental property, it’s probably smart to have the separate utilities. If he’s going to spend that money, have it done properly.

Get it in writing

Another question I got was about the Lottery. Powerball is now $750 million. And again, for the many offices who will throw in a dollar or two into the pool, get it in writing before the drawing. People will come up with stories and yes, if you’re going to buy group tickets or have somebody buy it on behalf of you, the odds are you’re never going to win it. But I can tell you that if you do win, you might have a whole lot of people who said that you were not part of the group.

And actually that’s one of the reasons why you don’t hear from a lot of these. It takes months, or whatever, because they have to hire a lawyer and figure it all out.

If you don’t get it in writing you could be in a scenario that sounds something like this:

“What’s going on, what do you mean, wait a minute, but I always play every week. It’s the one week I didn’t play. I’m on the thing. I play every week, but this time I didn’t.”

When there’s that kind of money involved, it’s like everything else. It’s serious. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Get it in writing.

Each week I answer questions that although they may not pertain to the focused, personal injury law I practice along with my Team at Stanley Law Offices, I do my best to provide insight and information that helps advocate for consumer’s rights. If you have a question you can always email me directly at Joe@StanleyLawOffices. Whatever you do, don’t go it alone. Phone 1-800-608-3333, Stanley, Stanley Law.