Do the landlords commonly pay the water bill in the Ohio markets

9 Replies

It depends... If you are renting in lower rent areas/D Class neighborhoods, a lot of times it is expected that water/heat are included in the rent. Once you get into C Class neighborhoods it is typically expected that Residents pay all utilities. Here in Toledo, the city won't let renters have the water bill in their name, it stays in the owners name (so they can't skip out on the bill). So we just have to pass that cost onto Residents, just more of a pain in the butt than anything. I'm sure more people from Cleveland will chime in as to how their utilities work. 

@Clarence McClain this is a municipal question, not a state question...bottom line is that the cost should always be passed back to your tenant...even if sub-metering is not in place....irrespective of the size of the property.

Water/sewer is a sensitive issue because back bills result in a lien against the property...so, municipalities want owners to be responsible. Some locations require an affidavit or business agreement to place water in a tenants name...like Columbus, for example. The downside is that as a landlord, you will not be aware of the tenant stops paying and in comes the lien in your name on your property...and this gets paid by you...

Just keep in mind this is a local issues...most of the time you will deal with the city, but sometimes its a township or village...or even the county. Every local level utility provider does things under their own rules.

There is no standard in Ohio law on who is responsible for what exact services...you certainly have obligations, but one of them is not paying for your tenants water usage.

Water will always stay in the landlords name. But in SFH you can put it in your lease that tenants pay water and sewer

MFH gonna be much tricker to do and actually have the courts on your side if they don't pay

I have my SFH in Cleveland, OH and I don't pay any of the utilities. The tenant is responsible for all of them. In the case of tenant turnover, my PM takes care of the bills for a fee. City of Maple Heights requires an inspection everytime there is a tenant turnover so you have to take those fees into consideration.

@Clarence McClain

Here in Cleveland and surrounding Surburban, we base the water and sewer responsibility on how many units are in the dwelling.

All of the single family residents pay their own water and sewer bills. We did recently have to add a clause to the lease that states if the bill exceeds $200 unpaid balance then we will apply the first $200 of their next rent payment to the unpaid utility bills first and that rental amount remains still due.

For two family units or more, we include water and sewer in the rental price.