Poll

Do you include free utilities in the cost of rent? I once had free water and internet when I rented. I now offer free water. Please comment on the advantages, from a landlord's perspective, of including utilities with rent.

I never offer any utilities, more money for me
13 (56.5%)
I include water because I always have, it is illegal/impossible not to
6 (26.1%)
I include internet and basic cable because it is a static price
0 (0%)
I include all utilities because tenants go crazy and pay a ridiculous rent increase for it
2 (8.7%)
I lease a fully funished unit and of course include everything
0 (0%)
Other
2 (8.7%)

Total Members Voted: 23

Author Topic: Include Utilities?  (Read 2712 times)

hoping2retire35

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Include Utilities?
« on: January 08, 2016, 10:29:57 AM »
probably not the best poll just kinda fun and want to hear what others do.

srob

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Re: Include Utilities?
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2016, 10:34:38 AM »
non of the above--I usually cover water/sewer/garbage bc mine are multiunits and not separately metered for these things. If I had single family rentals, the tenants would be paying for all utilities. But it depends on your market--if they can go somewhere else for the same rent and get utilities covered, they will.

hoping2retire35

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Re: Include Utilities?
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 10:36:19 AM »
non of the above--I usually cover water/sewer/garbage bc mine are multiunits and not separately metered for these things. If I had single family rentals, the tenants would be paying for all utilities. But it depends on your market--if they can go somewhere else for the same rent and get utilities covered, they will.

I think you can vote, change it a little for ya.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Include Utilities?
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2016, 10:43:44 AM »
We do not include utilities, but it isn't a "more money for me" situation, so your poll really introduces a lot of bias. 
If they were included, the rent would be adjusted for that.

However, we believe our tenants individually set their own habits and thus pay for their own consumption.

Since our utility use is so low, we would always be stressed about tenant usege because it likely would be much higher. If we did get a tenant who was likely to conserve then we would feel we were cheating them since we would have to base our rents on the wasteful tenant so as to not lose money. 

And if for some reason bills don't get paid and there are shut offs, it is their responsibility, not ours.

We have a single unit and the law does not require we cover any of these services.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Include Utilities?
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2016, 01:09:06 PM »
I don't include anything.  Knowing what people consume when they are paying for it, I cringe when I think about what they would do if it was included and didn't carry any additional cost.  The buffer I would have to add to the rental rate would put me out of market.  As srob mentioned, included water is usually a metering issue (it would cost a fortune to individually plumb and meter an apartment building).  In this case, the risk of overuse is partially mitigated by the lack of lawns and a larger number of units to "level" usage between heavy and light users.     

GuitarStv

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Re: Include Utilities?
« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2016, 01:29:55 PM »
Don't include utilities!  Doing so encourages waste by removing monetary accountability for the renters choices.  It has potential to make the world a shittier place to live.

johnny847

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Re: Include Utilities?
« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2016, 01:50:35 PM »
Don't include utilities!  Doing so encourages waste by removing monetary accountability for the renters choices.  It has potential to make the world a shittier place to live.

In the places I've rented in the past that included utilities, I'm definitely guilty of this.

v8rx7guy

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Re: Include Utilities?
« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2016, 01:56:43 PM »
"W/S/G Included" for my rental

Another Reader

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Re: Include Utilities?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2016, 05:28:33 PM »
Sewer is often part of the property tax bills.  I pay what is on the tax bill.  As others have said, landlord paid utilities encourages thoughtless consumption.

In Arizona, several of the cities got tired of tenants not paying the bills and decided to make the landlords pay water and garbage.  They got a bill passed in the legislature.  It got derailed somewhere and was never implemented.  In San Jose, garbage is now on the tax bill.

tthree

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Re: Include Utilities?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2016, 08:54:09 PM »
Our rental unit is a basement suite within our family home.  We include everything.  The only thing we have a separate meter for is power.  Our current tenant is very conservative with her utility usage....the last one not so much.

Jschange

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Re: Include Utilities?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2016, 10:13:47 PM »
I'm a tenant not a landlord... and I'd say that I'm happy to pay my utilities, and it makes me more conscious of using things wisely. BUT this is a nightmare if the landlord doesn't repair my leaky faucet, or doesn't update windows and insulation.

I moved out of my favorite ever house because I couldn't justify heating a Victorian workers cottage with all its drafts/bribing my FIL to fix my plumbing/trying to rig the ancient toilet to be low flow or just let my yellow mellow. Yes, I put plastic on my windows each year, but the building needed maintenance.

If you don't make utilities inclusive, remember that these people are limited in what they can control, and ask what utilities are before calculating rent.

Drifterrider

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Re: Include Utilities?
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2016, 06:54:08 AM »
Utilities are the tenant's responsibility and utilities must be in their name.

LiveLean

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Re: Include Utilities?
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2016, 10:45:24 AM »
We have a beach house rental that's rented mostly in the summer months on a weekly basis. Thus, utilities are on us. We assume that the tenants will keep the AC on 62 or so. I've been tempted to get one of those Nest or similar thermostats that can be controlled remotely -- and some of my fellow homeowners do -- but the management company discourages it on the grounds that tenants pay for utilities.

Thankfully, our rental is only 1,200 square feet so the bill can only go so high even when they crank it to 62 all summer.

Water/sewage isn't that bad, unless there's a leak or a running toilet that goes unnoticed. This happened and I ended up with a $300 water bill -- actually $600 since we're billed on two-month cycles. (Normal water is $75/month). My plumber there, who lives nearby full time in a much bigger house with a wife and five daughters 12 to 19, pointed out that his all-time high water bill is $150/month.