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How to Transfer the Cost of the Water Bill to Your Tenant

If you own an apartment building, one of the highest expenses you face every month is the water bill. Many property owners are looking for a way out of this draining responsibility. Some opt for sub-metering, but that could prove very costly. One inexpensive and popular method is the RUBS program.

What Is the RUBS Program?

Ratio Utility Billing System (RUBS) allows owners to gain great benefits and feel a sense of relief when it comes to utility billing. It is a system in which a property’s utility bill (i.e. water, sewage, and garbage) is distributed directly to the residents based on a few criteria such as the number of occupants in each unit, square footage, or a combination of both. Keep in mind that different variables may be used for different utilities and are typically determined by state and local regulations.

How It Works?

Owners should hire someone to run a property analysis which will evaluate the need and objectives for the proposed RUBS program. At this point in time, the analyst will go over the bills and figure out the ratios to allocate towards each unit.

Upon the completion of the analysis, the proposed RUBS program will be presented to the property owner. A notice will be sent out to all current residents about the changes. The accounting department will generate individual utility statements that will be included on the tenant’s ledger each month.


The implementation of RUBS will convey the following benefits:

Immediately improves cash flow

No initial capital investment required

Based on pre-calculated formulas

Quick to implement

No need to enter residents’ apartment/office space

Encourages water conservation

Increases the value of the property

Currently, there are many companies that property owners can hire to execute the RUBS program. Owners can also consult with their property management firm to figure out the best course of action.

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