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How to Better Manage Your Community's Utilities

Homes and apartments - Milbrook Properties - FL and NY

Property management can be tricky, and managing the community's utilities is one of the hardest tasks. To maintain your portfolio, it is essential to improve net operating income across residential real estate properties.

Net operating income or NOI can be improved in several ways, one of them being to keep a check on current utilities, which is the third-largest operating expense incurred. However, in most cases, utilities are charged differently and are not frequently regulated.

In this article, we have discussed several ways to manage your community's utilities in a better way and to make sure you have everything under control.

Flat fees

Many individuals decide to bill residents with a fixed flat fee for maintenance charges since it is the easiest way out and requires minimal effort. However, it might not be the most accurate. Charging flat fees can often end up being overpaid or underpaid, thus being unfair to other people living in an apartment complex.

To deal with the issue of utility recovery, we have two ways to correlate a resident's bill to their respective consumption and ensure fair treatment for all. These two methods involve using RUBS or submeters, depending on your personal preference


RUBS, also commonly known as ratio utility billing system, is an efficient way to charge residents according to their usage. It allows the property manager to pass through the full cost of utilities by dividing the bill amongst all residents.

It divides the total bill based on specific factors like occupancy, square footage, and usage, thus making everyone more accountable for their individual choices. RUBS might be complicated, but it is definitely the most suitable method instead of a one-size-fits-all flat fee option.


Submeters are used to note down your exact consumption and later pay the bill using the amount incurred rather than a flat fee. This is one of the most transparent ways to deal with the consumption of utilities and the most sustainable.

However, while submeters might increase accuracy, they also come with added complexity as it is difficult to put up submeters, double-check the schedules, and then perform the required calculations.

Residential Communities In New York and Florida

Whether you're someone who wants to go with the option of a flat fee, RUBS, or even submeters, it is important to remember that each method comes with its own ups and downs.

It depends on what you're willing to invest in and see what works best for your apartment and residential complex. If you're someone who chooses accuracy over complexity, RUBS or submeters are the way to go. However, if you would rather choose to be more comfortable, a flat fee might work fine. Contact Milbrook Properties today for more information.


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