December 15 2017
One of the problems that many investors end up with, is the water bill, and many are stuck paying out of pocket. That’s because, unpaid water bills become liens on the property, instead of collections. So, if the tenants don’t pay, it hurts the investor. Water bills are also don’t quarterly, which make it hard to track, especially if you don’t know if the tenants are paying the portions of the water bill, and if you have people moving in and out, it becomes harder. Most cities also don’t handle the landlord situations very well, and if there are a lot of tenant transfers, telling the landlords that the water is off, transferring to landlords when they move out, it can be quite the hassle. Multi-family landlords deal with this issue a lot, and it can definitely affect the place. Water does cost a bit of money, and when the usage is consistent, it’s easy to figure out, but if it’s not, it actually can be quite frustrating. Are there a few ways to save you money? Course there are, and we will discuss how you can save money on the water bill below, by making the place more energy efficient.
The best way to do this, is to look at the fixtures, and install the ones that are way better with water efficiency, and you can look into how long it would pay for itself. Now, if you want an estimate, each toilet takes anywhere from 3-7 gallons a flush, and a faucet is about 3-7 a minute, with a shower being about 5.5 gallons a minute. These numbers are all something to take into consideration, and it definitely is something you can fix in a simple manner.
Now, when you’re choosing these there are a few things you want to consider. First, you want to make sure that the reduced flow rate doesn’t ruin the experience of the tenant. The goal of this is to use less water and save money, but you don’t want to make it a trickle of water, or a cheap faucet that barely turns on. You also don’t want toilets that are clogged all the time, not just because it’s gross, but because guess who’s going to fix it? you.
You also should, when you’re looking around, you want reasonably priced fixtures. These can get super expensive, and it’s hard to justify some of these in a rental property. You need to find one that is justifiable in terms of an investment, and will give you a great end result in terms of cost savings. If a faucet, showerhead, or a toilet will take you about 15 years to pay off, then don’t get it.
Finally, you want to make sure that the fixtures are rated highly, built well, and can take a beating. Now, these are going into rentals, and they always won’t be treated nicely. You want to think about how much of a beating these will take over the next couple of decades, and you want to make sure that they’re built to last years without needing a replacement.
So how cheap can you go with them? Well, you can get toilets for as low as about 200 that are efficient, faucets about 50-60, and even shower heads that are about 30-40 a piece. You should definitely do your research, and you can save a lot of money. It might be a lot, and while it might take you a few years to pay for itself, it will still save you money over time. They can save anywhere from 25-60 percent, depending on what you put in.
So, if you’re looking to save money in some front as an investor, and if you’re working with duplexes that have tenants kind of going in and out like a revolving door, it’s imperative that you take a look at the fixtures you’re putting in, and to make sure that you have the best ones you can get. You will save a lot of money in the future, and it can do a whole lot of good for you too.