Some single-family rental property owners see the benefit of offering certain amenities to their tenants. Many Bloomingdale property owners have begun to consider including amenities such as internet and cable television service as well as utilities like water, sewer, and even electricity in the cost of the rent. And doing so, as is in many cases, does a lot to make a rental home more competitive, but not only that, it can help attract tenants also. The flip-side to this is that not all renters want the amenities you’re offering, which puts you at risk of losing out on potential applicants. This only goes to show that it is important to know your target demographic. When you understand them and know which amenities your local market would go for, then you will be able to choose the best options for your rental homes.
In some markets, offering amenities is expected; almost all other rental homes are doing it. Yet, in other markets, doing this can give you a competitive edge. It may also allow you to charge a higher rent. If there are a lot of young professionals or retirees who rent in your area, there may be a strong demand for “all-inclusive rentals,” or properties that offer not just a house, but additional services as well. Adding cable and internet services as well as utilities may just be what would persuade them to rent. Especially if you’re renting a home to multiple tenants, providing such amenities can eliminate conflict between them and spare them the hassle. For such cases, you can easily raise the rental rate to cover the costs of each amenity, and these kinds of tenants would be happy to pay a higher rate.
However, there are some markets or some demographics where providing amenities like cable, internet, and utilities does not make sense. Even with internet service and cable television increasing in popularity, that doesn’t mean that all renters want or need it. Requiring tenants to pay more for a service they don’t want would drive them away.
Many renters want to decide for themselves. They want to be the ones to decide whether they pay for these types of amenities, as well as have the freedom to choose their own service providers. It’s the same for utilities as well. In places where there is more than one option for utility service, tenants may prefer one provider over another. This means that some of them would want to set up and manage their own services with the provider of their choice. By doing this, you hand control over to the tenants. They get to choose how much they pay for those utilities rather than be forced to pay a fixed sum that’s included in their monthly rent.
Even from the side of property owners, either option has its pros and cons. Setting up cable, internet, and utilities in your name give you more control over the services available or installed on your property. If the property owner lets the tenant choose their provider, they may have to deal with abandoned satellite dishes or other paraphernalia when the tenant leaves. But if the choice is kept, then you can make sure that utility or other amenities are not creating an eyesore or damaging their valuable property. You can also enjoy a larger tax deduction on your income tax return if you pay all the utilities. This can help reduce your tax liability.
On the other hand, irresponsible tenants may run up a utility bill, figuring they won’t be paying for the extra charges anyway. Additionally, signing up for internet and cable service typically involves some up-front costs, which a landlord may have difficulty recouping through higher rent. Since you’re the account holder, you’ll have to deal with the expenses no matter whether your property is leased or not. You’ll need to make sure the bill is paid each month. All of these situations can significantly impact an owner’s cash flows, at least in the short term.
After studying the pros and cons of offering cable, internet, and utility services, you can confidently make your decision. Remember that different rental homes may be in different situations, which means you won’t find an answer that would fit every home. But with good information, you can be certain that the choice you make is the best for your rental home.
Don’t hesitate to consult the experts in the industry. Speak with a professional Bloomingdale property manager today. At Real Property Management Washington DC, we make it our business to help you succeed in the real estate investment game without all the hassle. Don’t hesitate to contact us online or call us at 202-813-9993.
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