Utilities

Gain information about establishing your utilities, billing, and more.

Utilities

Gain information about establishing your utilities, billing, and more.

Understanding Your Utilities

We get that setting up utilities can be an annoyance, and sometimes confusing for new residents. Utilities are an essential function of your residence, and we want to clearly lay out the information you need to know to ensure your utility setup process is smooth. 

Utility Information

None of our properties allow satellite dishes to be installed on the property. You may be asked to take down the satellite dish at your expense if you proceed with satellite service. Avoid that and any penalties that DirecTV may charge by seeking ground-based or wireless alternatives.

First check to make sure you are required to do so. Most of our leases require tenants to set up unit utilities in their name. But a few of our multi-family properties have some odd-ball setups where the tenant will reimburse the landlord instead. Review your move-in welcome packet and information for more instructions on this. All single family home tenants, or row-home tenants occupying the entire home must set up their own accounts.

 

After you have confirmed you are to set up utilities:

 

Contact BGE for Gas and/or Electric Service. BGE.com or 800-685-0123

You may need to pay a deposit based on your credit history and the property's billing history. We don't have any say in this amount or how it is charged.

Have the billing start date be your move-in date, even if you have already moved in. This will allow BGE to charge you for the correct dates and avoid any confusion in your future bills.

Most of our clients opt to bill water to you to be reimbursed due to laws regarding who is responsible for unpaid water bills. Take no action here unless directed to. We will certainly be in touch if your landlord wishes for you to set up the service in your name. There will be no penalties if there is a reasonable delay between moving in and this utility being transferred (ie one month or so).

If you reside in one of our apartment buildings or duplexes you will almost certainly be responsible for a shared utility. Shared utilities can include water/sewer, trash removal, heat, hot water, or general public service utilities. This varies by property, so feel free to ask us which shared utilities apply to you.

 

Each month you will receive separate charges on your account with us for your shared utilities.

Your lease specifies which utilities are included in your lease. In most cases that will be "none."

 

Water is billed by occupancy. For example, if there are 3 units in your building/complex, and 2 of those are occupied by one person each, and one is occupied by 2 persons, the bill will be split amongst all residents with the single occupancy units each charged 25% (¼) and the double occupancy unit charged 50% (2/4).

 

Please note it is in your best interest to notify us when a neighboring unit is occupied by what you may believe to be more than it should be. For example if you know the neighboring unit to be a studio, but it is occupied by 3 people, let us know. Don’t worry, it is not necessary for us to share where we got the information. We will schedule an inspection to confirm for ourselves before taking any action. It is also being a good neighbor for you to report any leaking toilets or faucets so that we can help to keep your bills lower by making repairs.

 

Gas/Electric billing is based on square footage or occupancy depending on the services provided. For example, if hot water is all that is provided, the bill will be based on occupancy. If heat or a combination of heat and hot water are provided, the bill will be split based on relative square footage occupied by each rental unit. This process follows the nationally recognized method of calculating such utility splits called Ratio Utility Billing System or RUBS.

 

We are happy to provide any utility bill scan to you after billing and upon request. At this time our systems do not allow for an automatic scan to be sent to you upon posting except manually.

 

Please take care to pay each charge posted within 15 days of posting. We recommend checking your account a few days before each rent payment is due to check for utilities, and again around the 15th. If you ever need a few extra days to pay utilities, simply pay your rent in full, and let us know about your situation. We will work with you wherever we can to make sure the process is reasonable.

 

We do not control the billing cycle of any utility, and processing each bill is a manual process that is subject to variance in schedule of mail and/or holidays. We do make every effort to bill promptly for our mutual convenience.

Billing Troubleshooting

You are a tenant in a multi-family/apartment buildings or multi-unit commercial property

This charge is for the shared utilities in your property. Shared utilities provide some services that are not separated by unit but that benefit tenants. This is part of your lease terms. Depending on the property, shared utilities may provide one or more of the following services: heat, hot water, air conditioning, public area lighting, laundry power or gas. Shared gas or electric charges are shared prorated amongst all the tenants in the building. You should pay both BMore Management for the charge on your account and BGE directly for your unit services.

 

You are a tenant in a single family home or single unit commercial building

If you did not start your BGE service on your lease start date or stopped service because you are moving, the charge is very likely the prorated utility for the time where you were in the rental unit but did not have the utility in your name. The Landlord paid that utility charge, and now seeks reimbursement per your lease. In this case you should pay both BMore Management and BGE directly for your unit services.

If this describes you except you put the utility in your name in a timely manner, contact us. We will review the charge to make sure it is not erroneous.

You are a new tenant, signed my lease with BMore Management, or just signed a renewal lease:

If you are a new tenant altogether and leased through BMore Management, we are applying the utilities charges in your lease. All of our leases require our tenants to pay for their share of utilities. In a single family home this means the entire bill because only your household could use the utility. In a multi-family or commercial multi-unit building this utility is shared prorated amongst all tenants in the property. See below if you are also a tenant in a multi-family or multi-unit commercial property.

 

You are a tenant in a multi-family or multi-unit commercial property:

This charge is for the shared utilities in your property. Shared utilities provide some services that are not separated by unit but that benefit tenants. This is part of your lease terms. Many times we find that a previous landlord or property manager did not properly enforce the utility charges applicable to your lease. We don't usually overlook utilities. Failure by the Landlord or his/her Agent to charge the utilities previously does not mean they do not apply. Review your lease closely. Let us know if you find that this charge does not apply to you per your lease and we will gladly review it and remove accordingly, otherwise it does apply.

Most of our clients opt to bill water to you to be reimbursed due to laws regarding who is responsible for unpaid water bills. Take no action here unless directed to. We will certainly be in touch if your landlord wishes for you to set up the service in your name. There will be no penalties if there is a reasonable delay between moving in and this utility being transferred (ie one month or so).

Or, I was charged a late fee on a utility charge but my account is on auto-pay for rent charges!

 

This can happen but it is nothing to worry about. Simply pay your rent in full and the utility charge and we will remove the late fee. Remember to check your account at least once per month, preferably right before rent is due. We recommend twice: just before rent is due to see if other charges posted so you can adjust your payment. And just after the 5th to ensure no utility charges posted between the 1st and your grace date. You can also pre-pay as much as you like. All pre-payments remain on your account as a credit that will be used toward any incoming charges.

These can occur because a utility charge was posted right before your rent was charged. Then when you make your payment you are paying the utility first leaving a partial open rent charge. Or vice versa.

These are easy to reverse, just let us know. We will be able to see that you made an effort to pay on time and will reverse the late fee. It is our policy though to only reverse late fees if they are erroneous. If you did not pay on time, the late fee will be upheld.

No problem. We don't want you to be charged for anything that does not apply to your lease or erroneously! Please follow all the steps below to enact a dispute so we can resolve it for you

 

  1. Pay your rent in full. Your rent is never in dispute, except for a duplicate rent charge, but that will bear out immediately and be corrected. Either way it has no effect on utility charges. Not paying rent because of a utility or other charge is kind of like saying “it rained today, therefore I don't like cheeseburgers.”

  2. If your lease includes utility charges, pay a significant amount toward the utility balance due. It's ok if you don't pay it 100% for a few days while we review your account. However, making a good-faith payment is always the best course. If you opt for a payment plan, a good faith payment is the first requirement to be eligible.

  3. Submit a request through your online portal including details about why you think the charges are erroneous and which charges you are referring to. List the date and amount from your ledger. “My account is wrong” or a vague statement like that will not help us solve the issue quickly and we may overlook the issue instead of addressing it because we can't see what you mean. Help us help you!

  4. Sometimes we need documentation from you. Occasionally a landlord will misplace a lease and may have the wrong info on his spreadsheets. If we are told by the landlord that you pay 50% of a utility, for example, we can't do anything but charge that amount. However, if you provide a copy of the lease and we can see exactly what you see, we can update your info accordingly and avoid future discrepancies. Our goal is never to charge any more than the lease requires.

Ready to get started with expert Baltimore property management services?

As a Baltimore-based business, we understand the needs of local property investors who don’t want to compromise on expert service and thoughtful management. We’re headed by investors, for investors, and apply our years of experience and inside knowledge to create a property management company tailored to you. Contact us today to get started.