It is fairly common for people to assume that expenses are not theirs. In property management it is a daily occurrence.
Here are some of the common expenses that are the tenants responsibility that are often assumed to be ‘included’ in a rental:
- #1 on this list is definitely lightbulbs. Upon moving in the light bulbs should all be working. The resident’s use of the lights is what causes them to need to be replaced. This is why it is typically the residents responsibility to change them when they burn out.
- Furnace Filters:
- Along the same lines as light bulbs, filters become dirty through use of the furnace/air conditioner. Directly linking the resident to the expense.
- Toilet Paper & Cleaning Supplies:
- To some people this seems comical, but these items are frequently requested!
- Food from loss of electricity:
- Just like with a home owner, if the power goes out the power company is not liable. Unless it is gross negligence owners/managers aren’t responsible for replacing spoiled food in the fridge when the power goes out.
- What does the lease agreement say? Some rentals cover some of the expenses of utilities, others do not cover any of them. Some often overlooked utilities that could be the expense of the tenant are: Garbage, sewer, water, & HOA dues.
- Pest Control:
- In a lot of circumstances pests were not there when a tenant moves into a property. Ants, mice, etc showing up months after move in are typically due to resident use. A pest control company should be able to find the cause of the pests and if it is due to the residents they are usually responsible for the bill.
It is important to remember that the terms of your lease agreement will explain what is the tenants responsibility to pay for and what is the responsibility of the owner/management.