Should I include bills?

Should I include the bills in the offer price?

Choosing to include the bills in the price of the offer is certainly a point that all landlords face when renting their properties out. Whether you’re sharing your home or renting out an entire apartment, it’s something that’s worth putting some thought into before making a decision.

Here are some of the biggest upsides of including utility bills in the total price of your offer and how it can make the whole experience better – both for you and your future tenants:

  • It informs the potential tenants about the absolute total cost of renting, thus making your offer more reliable and attractive.

It’s simple. When you include the bills in the offer, you spare the tedious job that tenants have of calculating (on often made-up values) how much extra cash they will have to set aside for monthly bills. If they are international students, then it might be even harder for them to accurately estimate how much each utility will end up costing. This uncertainty could end up being a deal-breaker since they might be way off with their predicted results and consider the total price to be too high and thus be apprehensive about making a commitment. You will save them time and the stress of having to research how much each utility costs in that area, and provide them with a more welcoming feeling, as well as an easier road for their (sometimes first) adventure away from home.

  • It’s less demanding and less time consuming for you if you don’t have to send out utility bills and then collect the payment for them each and every month. Plus, if you’re sharing the property with the tenant(s), then it saves you the time you’ll be spending on having to calculate who used what and how much.
  • It might avoid potential debates with tenants that don’t agree on how much they have to pay for a certain utility bill for that month regarding its usage. Money is always a hot topic, so the less confusion there is, the better the experience will be for both you and the tenant.
  • You can generate a bit more income. If you set up a good price for your offer that includes the bills and your tenant(s) are somewhat responsible and use less than what they’re being charged for, then you’ll end up saving some cash every month.

Those are some of the most important advantages that come from including bills with your rent. However, it’s important to know some of the key factors that might make this a good deal for your property or not.

Location and Market are both important elements in recognising if including bills is something that will end up being in your favour. Is your property set in a particularly desirable neighbourhood? How competitive is the market around you? If there is a large pool of choices for properties in your area, then including bills together with the rent might be something that will make the whole package more attractive.

It can also be important to observe that there might be some disadvantages that come with including bills. The most concerning and direct one being the higher consumption of the utilities by the tenants, since they no longer have to care as much for how much they use or save. A way to prevent this is by putting a cap for the bills included, which is a good way to ensure that your tenants are still responsible regarding utility usage if they don’t want to end up paying extra.

Take all of this into account when deciding what’s the best course of action for you and try to study a bit of the local market before reaching a decision. See what other offers include and what other landlords in your area are doing in order to make your offer stand out from the rest!

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