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jkane

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Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #1 
I own a front house which is used as my office and a back house that I rent out.  Behind the back house, there is a garage that we have converted into a workshop.  I have recently discovered that the back house (my tenant) pays for the electricity on the garage/worshop.  What should I do about this?  What rights does my tenant have leagally?  Am I liable to pay his bill?  I think this is called shared metering, but I am not sure.  We do not use the worshop much, the electricity out of there is minimal, but we do use it.  Any advice or help would be appreciated.

Jeff

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Jeff
needhelpin_ny

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Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #2 

I'm certainly no expert, but I think you could call your utility company and ask them to put in another meter which can be very costly. Do you have a Public Lights meter? This one is where you get your electricity for the outside lights, boiler, hallways, etc.

OHlandlord

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Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #3 
Installing a seperate meter is one way to handle this.  But you may need to drop a sepaerte line to the garage itself and install a breaker panel in there.  It could be an expensive solution.

Another solution is to disclose the shared utility arrangement with the tenant and give him a small amount of money off his rent to compensate him for the electric usage from the garage.  Say $25 per month.  If he agrees, have him sign a paper that says he has been informed of a shared utility arrangement and is being compensated for it.  I seriously doubt the average garage uses $25 of electric per month.  (What is there, one or 2 lights and possibly a garage opener to use electric?  And how long are you actually in the garage per day?)  So that amount should more than compensate him and meet and shared utility disclosure laws.

If he refuses, either negotiate for a larger rent discount or take the first solution above.
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