Tenants Guide to Shared Utility Meters

by Property Management Software on June 16, 2010

Shared Utility Meters

Shared Utility Meters

Some buildings have a single gas or electric meter that serves more than one rental unit. In other buildings, a tenant’s gas or electric meter may also measure gas or electricity used in a common area, such as the laundry room or the lobby. In situations like these, the landlord must disclose to you that utility meters are shared before you sign the rental agreement or lease.61 If you become a tenant, the landlord must reach an agreement with you, which must be in writing, about who will pay for the shared utilities.

Rental units in older buildings may not have separate water meters or submeters. California law does not specifically regulate how landlords bill tenants for water and sewer utilities. Ask the landlord if the rental unit that you plan to rent has its own water meter or submeter. If it does not, and if the landlord will bill you for water or sewer utilities, be sure that you understand how the landlord will calculate the amount that you will be billed.

61    Civil Code Section 1940.9, Public Utilities Code Section 739.5.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Anna November 20, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Hi , i am currently living in a 2 family home. My landlord lives underneath me on the 1st floor. i recently found out, i have been paying for a light in the downstairs hall. I also have been in the boiler room and seen yellow wires running from one wall to the other, that werent there before. when i called my landlord about it, i left him a message asking about the wires. When i went back to the boiler room to show a buddy of mine, they were gone. but i did take pictures. He also has come into my apartment and changed something in the fuse box in my apartment, which i have no clue what he did. My local electricity company is conducting an investigation soon. My question is: does the landlord have to repay me for the electricity hes been using in my name?


Massimo sarta May 3, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I’m the landlord and I live in the basement
my tenant and me pay for a shared meter
She said that I have to give her back all the
money from the shared meter for six years
is that true because I’ve been giving her half
the money for the light


jerry February 7, 2013 at 5:54 am

i have a building i brought— i found out that the next building nest door connected bye a comon wall at one time where all one owners and building –they seperated building and there electric meter is in my building that i brought that was seperated— can i make the other owner put the meter in his building is there a law that meters should be in the building they own i live in illinoies


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