RUBS- Ratio Utility Billing System

March 17, 2022by melissad0

RUBS stands for Ratio Utility Billing System. It is designed to help share the costs at an apartment community. The goal is to split it fairly between residents and owners.

The amount of people calling the apartment community home can vary.  It can be difficult to determine the exact amount of these utilities used by each resident. You typically see one water meter and a communal waste area servicing the property.

Why not submeter?

Submeters allow buildings to charge individual tenants for the exact amount of utilities they used in a given period. Submeters rely upon specific plumbing and electrical configurations that can be planned into the construction of new buildings. In practice, submeters are the most accurate form of utility billing for multi-unit properties as it measures the exact usage amount among residents.

However, for existing buildings, re-configuring utility flows is extremely expensive, and in some cases impossible due to the construction of the building.

Due to this, there are a couple of ways that housing providers can share the cost with residents. The two main ways are based on the size of the apartment home (square footage) or the authorized occupant method. This cost-effective and alternative to sub meters essentially divides the bill among residents and at times, the housing provider, based on certain criteria.

Apartment Building RUBS

RUBS in the lease

If your property chooses to use RUBS you would see it on your lease. It would look like this:

Utilities billed to the Property are allocated between all Property residents as indicated.  Resident’s percentage is calculated based on:

(One of these options would be checked)

Square footage:  The approximate square footage of Resident’s unit as compared to the total square footage of all occupied units within the Property.  Resident’s share is 80%  if all units are occupied.


Authorized occupant method: The number of authorized occupants residing in Resident’s unit as compared to all authorized occupants in all units in the Property as of the first day of the month.  Resident agrees to immediately notify Landlord at any change in the number of occupants.

Typically, when there are common areas that use water, like landscape or laundry rooms, the owner will cover 20% of the bill and the remaining 80% is divided between the residents. This can also be the same when there is a shared waste bin for the community and common area trash that gets disposed.

With RUBS it not only helps residents their cover their fair share of utilities, but also helps control usage and prevents waste.

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