Today, we’re answering a question that a lot of property owners and tenants ask – who handles utilities in a rental property? There are three options: the landlord can pay, the tenant can pay, or both the landlord and tenant can pay. We’ll break down the landlord responsibilities and the tenant responsibilities, but what you need to remember is that utilities will depend on the type of property you have.
Tenant Electricity and Water: Single Family Homes
In a single family residential property, the tenant will generally pay for all utilities. That includes water, gas, electric, and any others. These utilities are separately metered, and the tenant can put the utility accounts in their names, receive the bill, and pay what they owe.
What Do Landlords Pay For? Multifamily Units
If you have a multifamily property like a duplex, a fourplex, or a small apartment building, the owner may pay for some or all of the utilities. These units are typically not metered separately, so the landlord will pay the utilities and then build that usage right into the rental amount.
Water Bill Landlord: Both Tenants and Owners Pay
There’s also the option of both the landlord and the tenant bearing some responsibility for the utilities. This is usually in a multifamily situation as well. Some utilities are individually metered, such as electricity. But, there might be common lighting in the hallways or outside of the property. Water and gas might be charged as a single unit instead of individually. In these situations, the owner can pay what’s communal and divide it out by unit. It depends on your situation and how you want to handle it.