Latest stories on tenants

Utility Billing: The Country’s Most and Least Expensive Cities

Posted by Livable Content Team on Sep 2, 2021 9:00:00 AM

“At Livable, our goal has always been to help save the environment while also saving apartment owners money by making residents responsible for their utility usage. We have seen that making tenants more aware of their usage can create significant savings. But just how much those savings might be can vary greatly by location, depending on local utility rates. With that in mind, read on to find out where your city ranks in the below list of most and least expensive utility costs”  - Daniel Sharabi - CEO



Apartment List showed in 2021 Honolulu in the top spot with an average of just under $90, with second-place Oxnard, California coming in at $83. The West Coast dominates the list of the most expensive average water bills in the U.S. as of 2021 - San Diego took the third-most-expensive spot with $79. San Jose, Sacramento, Seattle, San Francisco, Stockton and Portland all made it into the top ten as well. In the tenth position, with an average water bill of $63 per month, Virginia Beach was the only East Coast city to break into the top ten.


The East Coast tended to be among the cheapest places for water bills, with Upstate New York leading the way. Albany had the least-expensive average water bill at just over $20 a month, but Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo all had water bills under $30 a month as well.



Honolulu also took first for the most-expensive gas bill and was the only city in the survey to break $90 a month for this utility. Other than that, most of the other most-expensive gas cities were in colder cities since gas bills are often an indication of high heating costs. Detroit, Buffalo, Omaha, Chicago and Boston all had average gas bills above $80 a month. 



Electricity was by far the biggest single bill in all markets and the only utility that didn’t seem to follow a particular geographic pattern. Birmingham, Alabama took the top spot with an average electric bill close to $200 a month. Augusta, Georgia and Memphis, Tennessee all had bills that came in around $180 a month, which we can assume is due in part to higher cooling costs in the south. Connecticut also had several cities in the top ten, because electrical transmission rates are higher in the Northeast, as are land costs for building power plants. Boise, Idaho had the lowest total average utility bill at $186.


Due in large part to its $184 a month average electric bill, Bridgeport, Connecticut has the highest total utility cost of any city in the U.S., coming in at a whopping $353 per month for residents there.


Whether you're on the West Coast, East Coast, and everywhere in between, it's always smart to separate rent from utilities! Don’t let high energy usage take you by surprise, Livable’s user-friendly Property Manager Dashboard makes it easy to see what’s happening at your building and immediately increases the value of your asset. Book a call with a Livable team member today to start saving! 


Come save with us!



An easy and simple change you can make in your space is to switch to energy-efficient light bulbs such as LEDs that help reduce your bills. Regular incandescent bulbs use heat instead of light to release most of their energy. The modern LED style bulbs save a lot of electricity and money over time as they are energy efficient and last ten times longer compared to regular bulbs.

Eviction moratorium goes past the nationwide deadline in California, New York and more

Posted by Livable Content Team on Aug 2, 2021 9:00:00 AM
"While there is some recognition of this distress in the deal by providing 100% in rent assistance and requirements for the tenants to use the funds to pay rent, we are very concerned as to when this moratorium will actually end," Christine LaMarca, president of the California Rental Housing Association.

The Amenities Your Tenants Want Most

Posted by Livable Content Team on Jul 7, 2021 9:00:00 AM

At Livable our mission is to add value to your business, even beyond utility management, here is some helpful insight into what amenities tenants are most excited about when looking for a rental!


According to a 2020 report from the listing site, Zumper “Outdoor space” searches were up 143% in 2020 topping the list of most-desired apartment amenities.  “Roof deck”, “balcony”, “garden”, “deck” and “swimming pool” all showed major search increases over the year as well.  


Having a garden was the most desired of these outdoor spaces, adding an average of $144 a month to a listing’s value. A roof deck only added an average of $68 and a balcony was only $35 more on average.


Continuing to trend since 2020 “Garage parking” search rates were up 73% and added an average of $149 to a listing. “In-unit laundry” searches were up 64% - even adding an average of $170 to a listing’s value. “With slashed interest rates at dealerships and public transportation to be avoided if possible in 2020, more people were likely to have bought cars in and would then need parking spaces” according to the Zumper report. 


One of the top search terms in 2020 was one that wasn’t particularly popular pre-pandemic—storage. As people created impromptu offices at home, they may have needed to store other furniture, or they may have been looking to clear away clutter as they spent more time at home. In any case, “storage” saw a 92% increase in searches and added an average of $53 to a listing’s value.


Generation Z

For those in the 18-to-24-year-old age group, the storage search was even more specific. The Gen Xers really prioritized “walk-in closets” in their searches, as well as air conditioning and dishwashers. They were less interested in parking, however, as this age group is known to be the least likely to own their own cars. While all ages wanted outdoor space, Gen Xers were all about the pool. 



25-to-40-year olds also really wanted walk-in closets—this search term was up 300% for this age group, making it the number-one amenity request. Millennials were also the only age group to prioritize hardwood floors.


Baby Boomers

Finally, 41-to-56-year-olds were uniquely interested in central heat and had the largest increase in “in-unit laundry” searches of all the age groups. Baby Boomers also wanted furnished apartments, maybe because they were downsizing from big family homes, according to Zumper. 


Whether you are looking to invest in a new property or are renovating, along with adding any new amenity to your building come’s added utility costs. At Livable whether your property has multiple units varying in size, retail space, and/or common areas, we can customize allocation factors and billing frequency for your unique property and issue fair and accurate billing to each tenant. Book a call with a Livable professional today and find savings you can take to the bank—literally!


Schedule a call!

According to the EPA , depending on the region, homeowners use 30-70% of their water outdoors in the summer. Experts estimate that 50% of the water we use outdoors goes to waste from evaporation, wind, or runoff due to overwatering. Keep outdoor watering costs down by only watering grass and plants in the early morning or at dusk , so the water doesn’t evaporate in the summer heat

Smart saver tip of the month

Insulating water pipes is a quick and inexpensive way to lower water-heating costs. The easy upgrade reduces heat loss and allows you to lower your buildings’ water temperature setting by two to four degrees. Plus, since water doesn’t take as long to heat up, less of this precious resource is wasted waiting for faucets and showers to get to the appropriate temperature.

On smaller buildings, this is a definite DIY job that should take less than a day to complete. Check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s website for a comprehensive shopping list and step-by-step instructions.