Does landlord pay for bills or tenant (gas, electric, water, garb

11 Replies

I will be house hacking at University in Canada and wanted to know if I should pay for all the bills( gas, electric, water, garbage) or have them pay some other way. The tenants will be people I pick and would be friends I meet there and get along with. I would be very happy if someone that has house hacked with people they know could give any advice

@Oliver Ham I would do my best to push as much cost off to the others you are house hacking with. In your situation it all depends on how appealing your want to make the offer for them to stay with you. Remember that you are house hacking and the point is to make money or at best live for free. I personally would surcharge them all the same amount on utilities (i.e $50 flat rate for electric) and if its over the bill amount then perfect you have some profit. 

@Anthony W. Thank you very much for responding. In the last sentence do you mean that I would for example charge them each $50 for electric and that if the total bill for electric is less than what they paid me in total, then that's where you mean I have some profit? Also should I surcharge them $150 flat rate for (gas, water, electric, garbage) making it a package, do you think that would be the best approach? 

@Oliver Ham   Find out how much the expenses are and then divide those by the number of people in the home.  Remember to look at the average over the entire year (preferably for 2 years).  Include that as part of the rent.  So if you are renting a room for $500 plus utilities and utilities are $50 a month, instead charge $550 a month including utilities.  At the end of their one year lease, go back and figure out if that $50 was enough and if not, increase the rent for the following year's lease.

@Oliver Ham , always push utilities on the tenants if possible.  They're a variable expense; more usage will cost you.

If I understood correctly, this is more of a roommate scenario.  When I house hacked and had 2 buddies as roommates, we split the utilities evenly.  Make sure to communicate responsibilities you have as Landlord vs. Tenant/Roommate.  Just because it's your house doesn't make you responsible for everything.

I like the idea of just adding up the utilities from the previous year, divide by 12 to get your monthly amount and then split it up equally per housemate. Then add it to the rent. It's such a pain the butt to split it up as the utility bills come in. And there's always a jerk housemate that uses WAY more water, is careless about electricity and that just causes animosity sometimes.

I include the utilities cost as a $100 flat fee included in the rent. I have 3 roommates in a ~2000 sqft house (in Florida, so summer bills run higher). This includes electricity, water, and gas. I don't include wi-fi, trash pick-up, lawn, or pool maintenance, since I'd have to pay that regardless of whether I had roommates or not. Luckily I have not experienced what @Kenny Dahill has with a roommate taking advantage of included utilities. I find that including the utilities in the rent is easier for everyone, and roommates can budget accordingly, without the varying cost from month to month. Plus less of a headache for me to split it up!