Pass Through

Phil Querin Q&A: Common Area Pass-Throughs


Question:  We have submeters to all of the resident spaces in our community for sewer and water. But common area sewer/water was not submetered. We would like to do so now. We are planning to look at the trailing 12 months’ numbers in each of these three categories, and dividing those numbers by 12 months, and then dividing those number by the number of sites in our community (175). So my question is: How much notice do we have to give our residents in order to pass this amount thru to them?



Phil Querin Q&A - Multiple Question on Water Sub Metering

Questions. My question is in regards to sewer and water pass throughs: 

1. Is it still true, that you can pass through utilities?

2.  If so, what is a reasonable time for notice? 

3.  The newer MHCO space rental agreements do have a provision for pass through, however what if a tenant has been in the park for years & there is no provision for pass through on a rental agreement that they signed?  

4.  I do know of a MHP that does pass through and they send a bifurcated bill- one for utilities and one for space rent.  However, most tenants pay with one check or money order.  I have a MHP in Southern Oregon and the sewer is a fixed amount, so it would be easy to divide that amount up between the tenants, obviously with a proviso that if the sewer bill increases or decreases we would make an adjustment to the bill.


A MHP that does pass through water and sewer told me that their bill decreased by about 30% because the tenants knew they were now paying for the water and tried to conserve.  They knew their bill would be reduced if they used less water.  In my Southern Oregon MHP, the sewer is a fixed amount so that incentive would not be there unless the sewer district decreased their bill to the park and I had not intended to pass through water at this time.  NOTE:  If I metered the park it would be very expensive & I would have to take each tenant to small claims if they didn't pay.  Even though it's the same with pass through, the tenants don't get bill separately each month, so it looks different.



Phil Querin Q&A - Landlord's Right to Convert Garbage Costs to Pass-Through Program

Question. Our city garbage company is going to increase my per space rate by six dollars per month per can, which is a drastic increase. I'm wondering if I have the legal right to back out of my base rent the current garbage costs, and then require our residents to pay directly. Our current rental agreements include the garbage in base rent, which means currently I will have to absorb the cost of the increase for everyone.  Any suggestions?

Phil Querin Q&A - Pass Through of Sewer Charges

Question. In 2011 we passed through sewer directly to our residents.  It was previously included in the base rent.  The total monthly sewer bill is $2,174.00.  We have 62 spaces and we divided the $2,174 by that number to get $35.00 per month per resident.  

We gave a 30-day notice stating the gross monthly amount of the sewer bill and the amount we were passing thru to each resident.  In our Statement of Policy it says that the sewer is paid by the landlord but that we could change that with a reasonable notice at any time.  Is there anything wrong in the way we handled this?