SFR college rental: who pays for what?

3 Replies

As our first buy & hold rental, I'm hoping to buy a 100-yr-old, 5 BR house that's just one block from a big college.  I know there's a family in it now (moving out this week), but this property sure sounds like a college kid rental to me.  In that type of scenario, which utilities are typically paid by the landlord and which by the tenants?

I kind of figured that in an SFR, the tenant would pay for all utilities, lawn care, snow removal, etc. Is that an unreasonable expectation, especially for 5 college kids sharing a house? Am I better off boosting the rent and covering the fixed utilities (like lawn care) myself?

In my opinion, I would say to have the tenants cover all expenses including lawn care and snow removal.  Less cost and less hassle for you and will make projecting monthly cash flow easier since you shouldn't have as many variable costs.  Just my two cents.

These are college kids, they'll say forget about it to lawn care and just let the lawn grow out.

Just graduated myself and for the places I lived through the three years (first year in dorm) the landlord in each place covered snow, lawn, and water. We were responsible for electricity, cable, and gas. One place "paid" for water but just included each month in the rent so our rent went up and down each month by like $10 or so.

I think that you should have the tenants pay for all utilities of the house (gas, water, electric). We also have the tenants take care of snow removal and lawn care as well. Out of 5 college students, there should be one of them that is able to mow- and if not, you can always hire out and add it to rent. In my opinion, the less you have to do, the better. 

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