Updated: Jul 31, 2021
Are you just starting out as a landlord? And you have no idea how to manage your tenants' utility payments systematically?
Well, you know what? I've found a landlord who has been renting out his place for quite some years but still have the same problem.
Whether you're a first-timer or a tenth-timer in being a landlord, you may still be asking "what is the best way to handle utility bills at your rental property?"
Before giving you the answers to that, you should know how to control and manage your utilities first. Here's a simple 3-step method you can practise as a start:
Also, as a novice landlord, you need to know who typically pays for utilities when it comes to your rental business.
In Malaysia, utilities such as electricity, gas and Internet are mostly paid by tenants while gas and water are covered by the landlords. At times, there are landlords who charge an extra cleaning fee to their tenants for house cleaning and daily waste disposal.
Now we know who can be in charge of what, how do you landlords handle all the bills and payments?
Well, you're about to find out.
In this blog, we'll discover 4 effective ways for landlords in Malaysia to manage their tenants' utility payments:
1. Use myTNB Mobile App 2. Traditional Bill Splitting (Among Tenants) 3. Use Independent Meter + Excel Sheets 4. Individual Billing Through Wi-Fi Prepaid Meter
1) Use myTNB Mobile App
The first easy option that you have is by using the myTNB mobile app.
By going to myTNB app, you get access to your property's outstanding bills, monitor and ensure payments as well as track energy consumption over the past 6 months.
Plus, it is very easy to navigate yourself through the TNB app as there is a step-by-step tutorial provided by the local electricity company.
It's also very easy to link your banking accounts; just key in the important credentials (account no. and ID) and you're good to go.
However, the downside of this app is its postpaid system.
In other words, you get to use the electricity first and pay later. Tenants might take advantage of the situation and leave beforehand.
You can tenant can also pay via the app. You can find all the setup instructions on the myTNB app page.
Also, for your information, this particular method is not quite suitable for room rental businesses. It's best for a studio or an entire apartment.
2) Equal Bill Splitting (For Room Rental)
Manual bill splitting is the most traditional way of managing your tenants' utility payments.
This practice is normally done by landlords who rent out one property to a group of tenants.
Let's take one local example.
In Malaysia, it's very common to see a group of school friends or office colleagues rent an entire condo unit or a house together.
However, when it comes to splitting utility bills, things can be a little complicated (both for you, the landlords, and your tenants).
As landlords yourselves, you must know that equal bill splitting can quickly lead to arguments.
The root of arguments can be from the unfair air-cond, water and electricity usage.
Some cunning tenants may also take advantage of this "equal bill splitting" and start abusing - yup, they may overuse the electricity as everyone will pay for it equally at the end of each month.
True, it is the most straightforward manner of collecting your tenants' payments.
But then, due to its disadvantages, your tenants definitely won’t stay long. And this can surely affect your rental business in the long run.
3) Use Independent Meter + Excel Recording
Using traditional meters to track tenants usage is another conventional method of collecting payments.
What's more traditional about that? Recording all the electricity usage in Excel sheets.
Yup, a lot of the local landlords track their tenants' payments using Excel software decades ago. But today, that method can be a little outdated.
Still, it is one of the most effective ways of collecting your tenants' bills. You're able to observe and keep track of the electrical usage of each room independently.
Having that said, you can avoid arguments and unnecessary quarrels among your tenants.
However, the drawback behind this one is the manual recording. This part of the process needs labour - it can become quite tedious and draining over time.
As we are currently in the modern days of 2021, there is a better, advanced way to track your tenants' payments.
4) Individual Wi-Fi Prepaid Meter (Perfect for Room Rental)
If you have been looking for a systematic way to monitor and observe your tenants' payments, you can try using Wi-Fi prepaid meters.
Compared to other methods, this one, in particular, gives you the liberty to do things remotely; by just using a mobile app.
Yes, no more doing things hands-on.
You can definitely save money from hiring a caretaker to collect all the payments.
And overall, you can save the money you use to travel from your home to all of your rental properties - by using the app.
To start, what's a Wi-Fi prepaid meter?
In short, it is a smart meter that allows you to remotely monitor, track, and control your tenants' electricity usage.
Also, you get to see more accurate data on the consumption of electricity per hour. And all these can be done just through the e-meter app.
The prepaid system, on the other hand, refers to upfront payment. Like a prepaid mobile plan, your tenants need to pay first to enjoy electricity.
In other words; no payments, no electricity.
Yup, this particular feature guarantees zero risks on non-payments. Even if your tenants flee, you won't lose a single cent.
This prepaid meter is also individual.
It is very effective if you're running a room rental business.
You can observe the electricity used by each tenant in every single room.
A Wi-Fi prepaid meter also lets you cut off your tenants' electricity remotely if they don't pay.
Just a click of a button in the e-meter app and their air-cond won't be working.
Plus, the installation is easy, and from the accurate electricity data, your tenants' can better plan their usage next time.
At the end of the day, you get to manage your tenants' payments from anywhere and be a just landlord. No more additional labour, no more excel sheets.
Manage Your Tenants' Utility Payments Effectively
To all landlords, after seeing the 4 effective ways of managing your tenants' utility bills, you can now consider and decide which one suits you best.
Being a landlord is not as easy as it may seem. It takes many systematic strategies, plans and operational procedures to be a great one.