Should offer Utility credit?

8 Replies

I have a single family home built in 1890, I insulated the attic and sealed around windows, new furnace and A/C but obviously my utility costs will be higher than new homes in the area. 

I have a well qualified applicant that is concerned about the utility costs and asked that I would lower the rent to compensate. I don't negotiate on rent price but it is a legitimate concern. So I thought maybe offer a credit during the Dec, Jan, Feb months to make them more comfortable with the utility costs. I did give them a history of utility costs and the average temp for those months.

How would I word a credit like that into the lease? Should I collect the full rent and then issue a credit? Am I crazy and should just say no way it is what it is? 4 bed 2 bath average in area is $1700 but those are newer homes, I am listed at $1450. 

Thanks, David

@David Swanson No, no, no! Don't even start down that road. You have no idea how hot or cold they may like to keep their home. I would just tell them, newer homes are renting for $1700+ and you are priced accordingly. Plus, the heating and cooling costs will all depend on where they set the thermostat at. If you do offer a credit, they will complain that it's not enough. Remember, keep it simple. Good luck

If other homes in the area are renting for $1700+ and you are at $1450 (as Tim said), you are priced low and the people know it is an older home and what to expect.

Look at the costs last year vs this year and the bill should have gone down with the insulation and updates you've done.  Find another tenant.

Complaining and asking you to change things and accommodate them before they even move in?  Unless you are having a really hard time finding a tenant I would run.  This is a drop in the bucket to what they will be like after they are already in your home.  

Agreeing with Scott on this one, this tenant just did you a huge favor.  If someone is difficult during the rental process it is only going downhill from here.  Your appliances probably also aren't efficient enough, something is wrong with your yard, and that small smudge on a wall may be mold and you need a test.  Thank them for their interest and run like the wind bullseye.  You have priced accordingly and lowered your rent based on age and condition of the house, that is a fair thing to do.  There seems to be a pretty big spread to account for this and part of this is the utilities may not be the most efficient.  Keep it moving, there are plenty of qualified tenants out there that are far less likely to be a pain.