We include an Excel spreadsheet (RUBS Water Billing Worksheet) that will make the billing calculations for you. Click the button below and subscribe. In the future if we make changes to the Worksheet, we’ll notify you.
This worksheet is configured for a 2-10 unit apartment complex. Enter information about your residents and your master-meter water/sewer charges, and the spreadsheet will calculate the bills. The RUBS water/sewer calculations are based on occupancy so make sure these figures are accurate.
The first video covers these topics but it’s important to know that different states, counties, and cities have specific regulations for utility billing and submetering. You, as an owner, are responsible to know the rules before you bill your residents.
In Texas as an example, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has defined regulations for how tenants can be billed, what deductions an owner must take, what billing fee can be assessed, and more. In contrast, Colorado allows RUBS billing with very few limitations.
To learn the rules, contact one of the following:
You’ll need a lease signed by your residents authorizing utility billing. If your current lease doesn’t address billing, draft a lease addendum and encourage tenants to sign it. You may have to implement the lease as tenants renew and/or when new residents join your community.
For a sample lease addendum, click here.
Assuming you have met the criteria for billing residents, let’s discuss how to use the RUBS Water Billing Worksheet.
Step #1 – Account Information Tab
Step #2 – RUBS Calculator Tab
If you are familiar with the merge capabilities of Microsoft Word, you can create an invoice and use the RUBS Water Billing Worksheet as source data (Select Recipients) to individually populate bills for each of your residents.
If you use Quicken, QuickBooks or some other accounting package, there are ways to import the billing amounts we calculated into your customer accounts, and print invoices from there.
After you’ve sent bills to residents, you’ll want to log who you’ve billed and for what amounts. Highlight the billing information on the RUBS Calculator tab, copy the data, and use the Paste Values command on the Billing Record tab to save your data.
Calculating RUBS charges is really the first step when billing residents. You still need to print and mail the bills, process payments, and record all financial transactions. You also need to be available to answer your customers’ questions when they call about billing issues.
For smaller multifamily complexes, this process can be straightforward and easy. As the number of bills you’re sending each month increases, billing companies like AmCoBi, can manage the process on your behalf saving you considerable time, effort, and money. Moreover, third party multifamily billing providers offer enhanced services that your residents are sure to want such as: electronic billing, online payments, and Web-based access to their account information.
Implementing a resident utility billing program is one of the fastest, most affordable ways for multifamily owners to increase revenues without increasing rents. Make sure your property is master-metered and that you’re paying the utility costs. Find out if RUBS billing is legal where your apartment complex is located. Have all your residents sign a lease authorizing utility billing.
Best of luck with the process. It’s sure to have a positive financial impact on your multifamily property!
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