If you want to be a best practice property manager, then it’s essential for you to consider sub-metering for your complex community.
Without a sub-metering system in place, it’s difficult for managers to make informed decisions about resource-related problems. These problems can repeat themselves and will have to be addressed separately on each occasion.
For instance, with a single water meter in a large multi-unit complex, there is no way to distinguish between an infrastructure leak or a leak inside a unit. The leak could be situated between the main meter and the separate unit, or within a specific unit. There is no way to figure out who is responsible for dealing with the problem. A sub-metering system will allow you to tell if the leak is within the domain of the property manager, or something that one of the residents needs to fix.
A great example comes from a townhouse complex in Guelph. This complex didn’t realize they had a massive leak in their building until they installed a sub-metering system. They were then able to go out, find and plug all the leaks successfully.
A similar story concerns a complex where there was a major difference between two different types of property units:
- Self-owned units, occupied by a single individual or a couple.
- Student rental units, occupied by 5-6 individuals.
Studies of the complex revealed that the student units used much more water on a monthly basis than the owner occupied units, but every unit was being billed the same amount in their condominium fees. This was a very unfair arrangement. By switching to a sub-metered system, the complex was able to bill each residents only the fair amount for their water usage and the board watched the water use of the entire complex drop by 25%.
Sub-metering systems help you deal with current problems and catch future problems as they arise — whether they are leaks or residents that are using more than their share. Some property managers may think: I can find what’s causing this problem and deal with it. But often this process is more difficult than anticipated and you’re going to have to repeat it every time a new issue arises. This is why sub-metering is a best practice for property managers: it proactively tackles problems with your complex and creates a satisfied community of residents.