Renters and paying utilities

2 Replies

Just looking for options for tenants to pay utilities that have to be in my name. Having troubles with tenant not paying the water bill, great at paying the rent but they forget the other bills haha. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Disclaimer: Do not own a rental

From what I have read on this site all of these bills should have been written into the lease as the tenants' responsibility. If they are not then it is automatically your burden or a huge issue to resolve. I would think that you would have to not renew the lease and find a new tenant. Can others weigh in on this?

@Joey Collins this can be a difficult task but there are ways to make it easier.

#1: include utilities in the rent. If rent is $600 and the utility averages $100 a month, charge the tenant $700. If you attempt this, I highly recommend you increase the utility amount 10 - 20% because tenants are more liberal with use when they don't see the bill.

#2: I'm not familiar with your state laws but consider applying all income received towards additional charges first, then rent last. For example, let's say your tenant owes $600 in rent, $100 in utilities, and $50 in late fees. They pay you $600. Apply that payment towards utilities first, then late fees, then rent. This leaves them owing $150 in rent. Courts will let you evict for unpaid rent but may not allow to evict over unpaid utilities or late fees. Check your state laws and make sure your lease spells out how payments are applied before attempting this.

Those are the only things I can think of. Whatever you do, don't shut the utilities off! That can cause a lot more problems than you already have.