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Which Utilities do Landlords and Tenants Pay?

By: Justin Chaplin
March 22, 2019

Moving to a new place requires budgeting for different expenses. When thinking about where your money will be going every month, rent comes to mind first. However, don’t forget about the utility bills that pop up every month. Depending on your appliances and usage, utility bills can add up quick. Before you sign a lease, be sure you know what you’re paying for. Below outlines who is responsible for paying what utilities in an apartment rental.

What Utilities Are Included?

Depending on the apartment complex you live in, there will be some utilities that you personally aren’t responsible for paying. It’s best to ask these questions when touring an apartment. This information will be outlined in your lease agreement, so there should be no surprises. Make sure to read the lease details thoroughly, then reread them to make sure you have a complete understanding.

Utilities that you will find in your apartment include electricity, gas, internet/cable, water, sewage and garbage. In most apartments, you will be responsible for paying electricity, gas, and internet/cable bills. Landlords will typically cover the water, sewage and garbage. The cost of this is lumped into your monthly rent. If you are looking for an apartment that has all utilities covered, the costs are likely just lumped into your rent.

How Do I Pay?

If you haven’t paid utility bills before, it’s a pretty simple process. Nowadays, most utility providers will allow you to pay online. Some have options to autopay, which further simplifies the process. The contact information and your utility providers will likely be outlined in the lease agreement, so look out for them. If not, ask your landlord for this information. Be sure to get in contact with the providers a few weeks before you move in, so you can have power turned on and internet ready to go right when you move in. If you are transferring utilities from one address to another, follow this guide.

How Do I Split Bills With Roommates?

Moving in with a few roommates, and not sure how you’re going to split up the utility bills? There are a few lines of thinking: split them evenly,  based on income, or based on the size of your room. Have an open discussion about how to pay before the first month’s wave of bills hits. Determine one tenant to handle all of the bills, as it makes it easier for everyone. You’ll likely have to sign up for a few different online accounts, so make it simpler by having one person behind each account. Use finance apps like Venmo or Cash App to easily split bills between roommates.

It’s a bit stressful getting your utility bills set up for the first time. Once you have all of your services up and running and payment processes figured out, it’ll become second nature to you.

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