Battling Vacant Utility Costs

Up drives the moving van and out come the boxes. They turn the key, flip on the lights, and in a flurry of cardboard and packaging tape, begin to roll out the contents of their new apartment. All the while, the property continues to pay their utility charges until the new resident signs up in their name, which could take a while… might even be after the family portrait is hung and the living room furniture has achieved a perfect arrangement.

Oftentimes, properties have a continuing service agreement with utility providers so when units are vacant the electricity/gas/water stays on; but when a new resident moves in, it’s likely they’ve not yet set-up the unit’s utility charges in their name. During that period of time between when a new resident moves in and when he/she makes account arrangements with the utility companies, their utility costs are incurred by the property. As this story is relived in each new renter throughout the year, it throws a heavy blow to the property’s NOI.

With ResidentUtility’s Vacant Cost Recovery, we can help redeem charges that are falsely appropriated toward a property’s bill. Here’s how it works: When a community is set up with ResidentUtility, we do your billing and we have your rent roll, so we know your current residents and when they moved in. We’ll get the utility bill for the vacant unit and then look for violations  — times in which the resident was in the unit for some portion of the consumption period that was charged to the property. Lastly, we create and send a bill to the resident, and our call center responds to any of their questions/concerns regarding the bill from then on out.

Another way that ResidentUtility can increase property value is through Vacant Cost Management. Vacant Cost Management allows us to send regular financial reports to property managers that display which vacant units have have been consuming more energy than they should. Using these reports, managers can gain a greater awareness of energy usage in vacant apartments, and work to better ensure that they are properly hibernated in between refurbishing activities.

If you’d like to learn more about battling vacant utility costs or how ResidentUtility can improve NOI by 20-30k, contact your sales rep or request a free demo.

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