Understanding Multifamily Lingo : “RUBS”

blog May 15, 2020
What is a Ratio Utility Billing System?

What is RUBS? It's called the Ratio Utility Billing System. It's not a company. 

There are several companies that have this service or have created their own service but the general generic term is a RUBS system. And so, if you have a property that is an all bills paid property and you want to get away from it, you go online and you find a company that does RUBS and then you give them the information about your property and they'll give you a quote. They'll tell you what they can do for you. 

So, it's a method of allocating utility costs in apartments and other multi-family properties or multi-unit. The actual utility bill for the property is distributed to each resident based on an allocation of their usage, an allocation formula. Factors in the formula combine like the number of occupants. 

You see, this a lot especially with water. Water gets a lot of RUBS type of situations. If it's a one-bedroom, the water is going to be $25. If it's a two-bedroom, the water is going to be $35 because there are more people in a two-bedroom using the water. That's why they charge you more. The same goes with the number of bathrooms and the number of water fixtures. 

There are sales pitches that the RUBS system will get the tenants on board to cut the expenses. It'll help the landlord run the property better and it saves overall on the environment 'cause everybody's cutting back on using their utilities as they had before.

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