Got a call a couple of days ago from a tenant stating her gas bill was too high and she can't understand as she turned the furnace off last month. I told her (as I did when we rented it to her) that the hot water heater is on one units bill and the dryer gas is on the other units bill to even it out. This is what a lot of landlords do on upper/lower in ND when the furnaces are split. This is common practice, no biggy, never had any issues before.
So tenant thanks me, hangs up and no worries. Got a message yesterday saying 'I need to plug the dryer in so it isn't gas, it is electric' and it is not right I have to pay for the upper water since there are more people in the unit. Spouse called and explained the whole gas dryer still needs electricity (that helped a little)
So, trying to make everyone happy, my dear spouse and I say..fine we will pay the gas, raise the rent and we are good to go...right? WRONG...now we are being unfair LL because she is still 'paying' for the gas now by having a higher rent.
I should mention in ND the rental business is wonderful, things FLY Off the market, and these are high quality rentals. We were already last year $100 below market value and with the massive flooding, rents sky rocketed even more. We do not want to price gouge only because of the natural disasters so really trying to work with this tenant.
Any suggestions other than just telling her to start looking? We had her as a tenant many years ago and I have to say she is wonderful, keeps the place great, never complains (until now), and I can (somewhat) see her point.
Guess I'm looking for advice if I'm out of line by just raising the rent 40 and paying the gas (average monthly gas bill is $45-50)