News: Utility Rates

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Landlords losing the ability to use Ratio Utility Billing Systems on San Jose’s rent-controlled housing have just a few weeks left to apply for a one-time offset. The petition period for the offset opened on July 5 and closes on Oct. 31. Any petition received after Oct. 31 will not be considered. If landlords currently using RUBS are granted an offset, they’ll be permitted to add a portion of their RUBS charge to the tenant’s monthly base rent.

Tagged: Tri-County

Landlords losing the ability to use Ratio Utility Billing Systems on San Jose’s rent-controlled housing will want to read a newly published paper from the California Apartment Association. The Industry Insight paper, just for CAA members, reviews the petition process underway to offset losses from the banning of RUBS in the city’s rent-controlled units. If landlords currently using RUBS are granted an offset, they’ll be permitted to add a portion of their RUBS charge to the tenant’s monthly base rent. The paper covers everything from eligibility for the pass-through to notifying tenants of plans to file the petition to offset… Read More

Tagged: Tri-County

San Jose has opened a petition period for landlords hoping to offset losses after discontinuing the use of Ratio Utility Billing Systems. The petition period opened today, July 5, and runs until Oct. 31. Any petition received after Oct. 31 will not be considered. If granted an offset, landlords with existing tenants who are paying a RUBS charge can petition for a portion of that charge to be added to the tenant’s monthly base rent. This spring, the City Council voted to ban the use of RUBS in the city’s rent controlled housing, defined as buildings constructed before 1979 with… Read More

Tagged: Tri-County

If you own a business or property in the city of Los Angeles, or even if you just live or work in the city, you’ve probably seen increases in costs for trash collection, declining service from your provider — or both. This comes after the City of L.A. promised that the reform of its RecycLA program would not cause these problems. The city has not made good on its promise. That’s why the rental housing industry needs to help. Fixing the problem is necessary to keep rents stable and businesses solvent. The California Apartment Association is working with a new… Read More

Tagged: Los Angeles

After hours of public testimony and debate, the San Jose City Council on Tuesday voted to eliminate RUBS in rent-controlled housing. RUBS is short for ratio-utility-billing systems, which some property owners use to divide utility bills among tenants based on the number of renters in the building or square footage. At Tuesday’s meeting, the council also approved changes to the city’s “just cause” eviction ordinance and an ordinance related to the Ellis Act. The council is expected to formally approve the changes with a another reading of the ordinances May 8.

Tagged: Tri-County

In the face of California’s lingering drought, water rates are going up in Antioch, and sewer-rate increases could be on tap for the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District. On Tuesday, May 19, the Antioch City Council approved changes to its water and sewer rate schedule. The changes take effect July 1. This article in the Contra Costa Times explains how the rate adjustments will work. Notably, sewer rates for apartments will go down the first year, while rates for single-family homes will climb. On June 4, the Central Contra Costa Sanitary District board will hold a public hearing on its… Read More

Tagged: Contra Costa

After hearing from numerous rental owners and managers, the San Carlos City Council has reduced sewer rates for owners of multi-family housing by nearly 15 percent. The new rates take effect July 1. The council’s 4-1 vote on the issue came during its Monday, June 23 meeting. The lone no vote came from a council member who wanted a more modest, 6 percent rate reduction. After negotiating with the city for over a year, CAA and a coalition of San Carlos rental property owners secured the new pricing model. CAA Tri-County demonstrated that the current rate structure that charged a… Read More

Tagged: Tri-County

If your rental property has a master meter for power and gas, you’ve probably posted those lengthy utility rate schedules for your tenants to review. A bill on the governor’s desk would allow for a more convenient alternative. Senate Bill 196 by Anthony Canella, R-Ceres, would allow a landlord to post an Internet address where tenants can obtain a utility company’s rate schedule, instead of the current requirement that the rate schedule, in its entirety, be posted in a conspicuous place. Posting an Internet address takes up less space, time and money than posting the prevailing rate as published by… Read More

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Over the past week, the California Apartment Association has negotiated more positive amendments into Sen. Lois Wolk’s bill on water sub-meters, resolving one of the rental housing industry’s biggest concerns: penalties. Under new changes to SB 750, all penalty provisions have been removed. Those terms would have imposed attorneys’ fees and penalties against landlords and their billing agents if they failed to follow the provisions of Wolk’s sub-meter legislation, even if minor missteps were made. In addition, the author has agreed to extend the sub-meter installation requirement for an additional year – to 2016. Moreover, the parties have agreed to… Read More

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Senate Bill 750 — sponsored by tenant and environmental lobbies to mandate sub-meters in new construction and establish consumer protections in affected properties — remains pending in an Assembly committee. As originally drafted, SB 750 by Sen. Lois Wolk prohibited RUBS, banned administrative fees for water sub-meters and required that, as of Jan. 1, 2014, all new multifamily construction units would be sub-metered. The California Apartment Association and the Utility Conservation Coalition, an alliance of utility billing companies, have been diligently working to address the negative aspects of the bill and to create a “win-win” situation for owners, residents, and… Read More

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