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Two Tenants, One furnace, One Hot water heater, Two meters

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Two Tenants, One furnace, One Hot water heater, Two meters

Postby carlabree1 » Tue Sep 29, 2015 1:22 pm

My question is similar to others on this board, but I cannot find the answer for my particular situation. Please help.
We moved into a two-family rental, recently, agreeing to the heat and hot water being included in our rent, and paying our own electric. The tenant upstairs moved in recently, too, and has the same agreement with the landlord.
The oil burning furnace and the hot water heater, which are shared between both apartments, are in the cellar, and that doesn't bother us, because we never see a bill for those things, as it goes directly to the landlord. The other day, we noticed there are only TWO electric meters on the house. Does that mean that we are paying the electric for the heat and hot water system usage for both apartments? And the hall and outside lights? Shouldn't there be a third electric meter outside, for the landlord, that the "common areas" and shared systems should be billed to?
Is the cost of running these things even significant enough to bring it up to my landlord? If it's a few cents a month, I'm not concerned. But, it does bother me to think that every time the upstairs tenant takes a shower, or turns his heat on, it's costing ME money. Is it illegal? We are in Milton, NY, in the Hudson Valley. Thanks for any help. :?:
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Re: Two Tenants, One furnace, One Hot water heater, Two mete

Postby TenantNet » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:48 pm

If you're in a 2 unit house, then you're not regulated.

Based one your story, it seems there should be a third meter for common areas, power for the furnace pump and so on.

I don't know what the cost of these items would be, but if there is a hallway, you can add up the wattage used by the lightbulbs and calculate the costs.

Does the owner live in the building? If not, you can snoop around without arising suspicions. If you're experienced, you can probably trace the wiring from the hall lights back to the distribution panel that serves them, and discover which meter covers them. Or you can bring in an electrician to do that.

I would be a bit quiet about that so the LL doesn't get upset.

I would hold off calling you power company until you get more evidence. In some areas it's illegal for an owner to run common area lights, or the heating system from a tenant's account.

BTW, if you're paying for the other tenant's use of the hot water, then I guess the other tenant is paying for your usage.
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Re: Two Tenants, One furnace, One Hot water heater, Two mete

Postby 10ants » Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:01 pm

Gas hot water heaters don't use much electricity, nor do hall lights (if LEDs -- watch out for incandescents!) and pumps for hydronic heating systems -- the total is typically less than 20-30 /month.

The real killer is either fuel oil or gas in the winter. Make sure you aren't paying for someone else's.

In most 2-families that I've seen, the basement wiring comes off the lower apartment's wires, though you'd have to check.
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