Who pays for the utilities in a rental property

So you have purchased a rental property and have an excellent tenant who pays their rent on time and has excellent references. The question will inevitably come up as to who pays the utilities.

The answer is simple and clear. Since the tenant lives there and uses those services, they should pay for the heat, water,electricity, internet and cable. This is not to say that you cannot use a free DVD player or IPOD as an incentive for a tenant to move in. It means that your property will never produce positive cash flow if you include all of these essentials. Having said that, it is your responsibility to ensure the furnace is cleaned regularly (probably every two-three years), all the plumbing and electrical units are working and up to specified code. Also ensure that your tenant has all the energy efficient electrical bulbs they require.

For a multifamily property, the owner is responsible for all the heating costs and needs to pay for the common electrical usage such as hallways.  Separate electrical metering is strongly recommended for tenants in their suites.