Shared Utility Meters

Some buildings have a single gas or electric meter that serves more than one rental unit. In other buildings, a tenant's gas or electric meter may also measure gas or electricity used in a common area, such as the laundry room or the lobby. In situations like these, a landlord must disclose to the tenant that utility meters are shared before the tenant signs the rental agreement or lease.

If a person becomes a tenant, the landlord must reach an agreement with him, which must be in writing, about who will pay for the shared utilities.

Rental units in older buildings may not have separate water meters or submeters either. However, California law does not specifically regulate how landlords bill tenants for water and sewer utilities.