Water/Sewage Bill - Landlord or Tenant?

3 Replies

I have a SFH property here in Pittsburgh, PA that will be finished with work and ready for rent in the next few weeks, and I'm wondering about the water bill. First off, I also own a duplex which doesn't have the water split between units, so it is in MY name as the landlord and I pay the water/sewage bill each month for both units, while the tenants each pay for their own gas/electric - this seems pretty standard around here. However, with the new single family rental, my initial thought was that the incoming tenant would pay for ALL utilities. While I've seen plenty of similar rentals with ALL utilities paid by the tenant, I also see a few that keep the water in the landlord's name (tenant is NOT responsible, barring excessive usage).

So I'm wondering what the reason for this is, whereas the electric and gas always seem to be paid by the tenant. Are there benefits to keeping the water in my name? Or should I let the tenant pay for it, along with gas/electric? That is how I'd prefer to do things, but there has to be a reason that so many rentals have water bills kept in the landlord's name.

Any and all input would be much appreciated!

@Robert Kohnfelder

You've touched on something at the core of our wonderful strangeness here in Allegheny County. Because there's so much of it, water is weird here. First of all I have to ask, is the property in the City of Pittsburgh proper or one of the surrounding municipalities?

Keep the bill in your name, because many times water companies can lien a property. I would require the tenant reimburse you for the water bills. If a tenant is not responsible for a utility, they tend to use more of it than they otherwise would. I have a duplex with only one meter which I bill both tenants for the water/sewer as well.

Vegas is the same. Seeer must be in owners name (in NLV it goes to tenant with trash/water and recycling.)

I simply bill the tenant after it arrives.