Vacant Unit Theft

Published on 16 September 2010 by in Blog


According to, approximately 20% to 40% of new tenants don’t call ahead to arrange their utilities when moving into a new unit for weeks or months at a time. This act, referred to as “vacant unit theft”, can cost your organization thousands, or even millions of dollars over time.

The practice of vacant unit theft is all too common. In Michigan alone, nearly 70,000 homes and businesses are currently stealing electricity and natural gas in some manner. A large amount of these cases have been attributed to vacant unit theft in the city of Detroit.

While much of the vacant unit theft comes from poor residents in the area who are squatting in vacant units, energy theft isn’t exclusively associated with poverty. Detroit officials claim that there are also a large amount of tenants with the funding to pay utility bills who instead choose to steal their utilities for as long as possible.

Organizations across the nation are battling the costs associated with vacant utility theft. If you manage a multitude of properties and are worried about the high costs associated with vacant unit theft, consider contacting us to learn about UBM’s vacant unit cost recovery program.

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