The Apartment Association of North Carolina has been making the case for allowing the “hot water capture/cold water allocation” method of water submetering, and the Charlotte City Council recently endorsed the industry's proposal.
“The city understands that submetering based on hot water usage is not as precise as metering total water used, and there can be concerns about tenant equity if not done carefully,” said Mayor Patrick McCrory in a letter to the state utilities commission. “We do believe, however, that these concerns can be resolved and that the public benefits outweigh the negatives. Water savings in Mecklenburg alone could be several hundred million gallons each year.”
The City Council asked the commission to work with the apartment association to develop and allow hot water metering and/or other hybrid water metering approaches.
Two of the least expensive places to rent an apartment are in Georgia, with average rents in Albany at $521 per month, followed by Macon rents at $533. These markets ranked No. 2 and No. 3 in a list of inexpensive places to live, according to RealFacts, an apartment data firm. The cheapest place to live in a large apartment complex is Flint, Mich., where rents average $459.
RealFacts recently reported that apartment rents across the country were virtually unchanged in the third quarter of 2008. The average apartment rent in September was $1,002. In June, it was $1,000.
Apartment owners in Florida are beginning to modify their leases in response to a law that was signed by Gov. Charlie Crist last summer. Under the bill, landlords can give tenants the option of agreeing to pay liquidated damages or a termination fee of up to two months' rent in the event of a skip or early termination. Alternatively, a resident can continue to pay the rent until his unit is re-rented or reaches the end of the lease term.
The Florida Apartment Association began advocating for the bill three years ago after a controversial court decision. For years, many lease agreements had clauses that imposed a penalty in a flat amount if a tenant skipped. A Circuit Court decision, however, brought these charges into question. That pushed the apartment association to seek changes that would allow for the early termination fee.