The rental agreement includes many possible methods for handling utility bills:
- The tenant pays the utilities on their own
In this option, utility bills come directly to the rented apartment or you get them via email. Even though the documents are formally issued in the landlord’s name, the tenant has to pay them on their own. This method gives you certainty that the landlord is not overstating the bill amounts, but it also means you are responsible for making sure the bills are paid on time.
- Utilities are included in the rental fee
This method is transparent to the tenant, but if you are not frugal and make the landlord have to pay bills much higher than your monthly fee, it may cause unnecessary friction in your relationship.
- Utilities are paid by the landlord and billed to the tenant
In this case, you will receive a cost summary from the landlord and have to make a payment. Remember that some bills arrive late and the lease may end before a bill arrives (we recommend charging an advance payment and settling it against the real bill when it becomes available).
- The tenant is charged a utility deposit
Here, an estimated utility deposit is collected each month and accounted for at the end of the lease by comparing the total deposit with the real costs. Make sure to document the meter readings every month if the service provider does not keep monthly records.
- Transferring utilities to the tenant
Although this requires additional work and issuing some notifications at the start, the final result is that both parties gain a sense of security. The tenant is sure that the landlord is not overinflating the declared utility bills. It also reinforces the tenant’s sense of responsibility in the rental relationship. Additionally, the landlord does not have to bear the risks and suffer consequences in relation to the service providers if the bills are not paid.