What expenses do you bill back and how?

Curious what everyone bills back and how it is done. Below is my tentative plan. Appreciate any thoughts and learnings.

Water: Metron and integrate with Rent Manager
Sewer: ??? Stupid question but how do I do this? Can my Metron meter do it?
Trash: Do you bill back? Does each home sign up with the trash service or do you tack on yourself?
Electric: Plan is for direct bill with power company

Minnesota Guy,
We cover sewer costs.
Electric as you said is direct billed to tenants.
With trash we pick up service in our parks, pay the total bill then surcharge the tenants back on their monthly statements. No dumpsters… ever!
Water is a bit more of a case by case.

With one of our parks we meter with Metron and it is awesome. Great leak detection and interfaces well with our billing software. We have another larger park we were looking to install Metron but we started looking at it bit more and opted against it. It is $120 to have every meter installed, replacement meters/anatannas are expensive and there is a monthly charge per meter. The City in which the park resides charges a base charge for each home with a total water usage allotment. At this point we are best to just bill everyone for the base charge and then monitor total park usage. As it is the current usage is far below the total allotment usage allowed so we decided to hold off.


My park is 23 lots.

City water by master meter. We have submeters on each lot and bill back according to usage. My park maintenance guy reads them all every 15th of the month.

Sewer for my town is included on the water bill according to usage. The rate is on the bill. I bill back at the same rate per usage.

Trash for my park is picked up per lot. No dumpsters! Really lucky on that one. Bill is $18 per lot, $14 for seasoned citizens. I bill back accordingly.

All my lots have individual electric meters that are in the resident’s name.

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Water is billed by calculating a price based on consumption from a water meter. Sewer is also based on consumption. Generally the sewer consumption equals the water consumption so you can use the water meters for both. We bill a flat rate per unit for trash. We do not submeter, gas or electric.

There are specific state laws in how you do this for example, you may have to provide a certain minimum amount of information on your monthly statement, such as the gallons consumed, the price per gallon, etc. every state is different.

Tenants sometimes become upset when they feel like you are over billing them, and they may report you to the states utility regulatory commission. We have been reported many times, and once reported, you will have to comply with an investigation. We have never been found at fault, but the investigation is burdensome.

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Have a clarifying question - submetering and billing back all makes sense if the utilities are public but billed on a master bill to the park. In that case, the park has an actual total bill to split up (via submeter or other municipally permitted method) amongst the lots.

However, can you also submeter and bill back if the water/sewer is private (e.g. well/septic)? As @mPark states, I’m sure it needs to be in compliance with regulated rates and consumption amount rules, but can private utility service also be billed back? Even though there might not be a regular “bill” to the park owner in this case, there is still cost associated with regular well testing, septic tank pumping and maintenance, etc. Or is the bill-back only relevant for public water/sewer utilities?


Every state is different, but in the states where we operate private utilities, we do bill back to the tenants. The rules and approved methodologies are precise and need to be followed to avoid breaking the law. Generally, you cannot charge more than the total cost. Your state’s ordinances will indicate what is legal and they are probably published online. The state’s regulatory commission may be able to explain the rules to you or provide you with some type of guidelines.

Makes sense, thank you. Do you install submeters in those parks where you operate private utilities, or is it typically calculated based on a formula (or does that vary by state as well)?


We use meters to read the volume and process the calculations using tiered pricing formulae in Rent Manager.

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It’s important to consider local and state regulations with utility bill back. Anyone looking into water submetering/utility bill back is more than welcome to come to Dune for specific questions.

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