Many single-family rental property owners understand that they can benefit from offering certain amenities to their tenants. Many Charleston 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. On the other hand, some renters don’t really want the amenities offered. This means you losing out on potential applicants. This shows how important it is to know who your target demographic is and what they want. When you have a grasp of the local market, you’ll be able to better choose which amenities you should offer for your rental homes.
There are markets where offering amenities is expected and there are others where it would give you a competitive edge. It may also allow you to charge a higher rent. If your neighborhood has a lot of young professionals or retirees who rent, there may be 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 they want. Especially if you plan to rent out your home to more than one person, providing such amenities can eliminate conflict and they wouldn’t have to deal with the issue. For situations like that, you can easily raise the rental rate to cover the costs of each amenity, and tenants like these would gladly pay the higher rate.
However, in some markets, it wouldn’t make sense to provide amenities like cable, internet, and utilities. For some demographics, it wouldn’t do you any good. Even though the popularity of internet service is increasing and cable television is ubiquitous, not all renters are looking for it. For these tenants, having them pay more for a service they don’t want would just drive them away.
Many renters like to be the one to choose for themselves whether they pay for these types of amenities, as well as have the freedom to choose their own service providers. This may hold true with utilities as well. Some tenants may prefer to set up and manage their own services with the provider of their choice. This usually happens in areas with more than one option for utility service. 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.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to property owners themselves. Setting up cable, internet, and utilities in your name give you more control over the services available or installed on your property. If the tenant would select their providers, the property owner may have to deal with abandoned satellite dishes or other paraphernalia. But if you get to choose, you can be sure that utility or other amenities are not creating an eyesore or damaging their valuable property. If you pay all the utilities, it can help reduce your tax liability because you get a larger tax deduction on your income tax return.
On the other hand, irresponsible tenants may run up a utility bill, figuring they won’t be paying for the extra charges anyway. Together with that are the up-front costs that typically come with signing up for internet and cable service; these costs may prove to be difficult to recoup through higher rent. Being the account holder, it is also an added responsibility to make sure the bill is paid each month, no matter whether your property is leased or not. These situations can significantly impact an owner’s cash flows, at least in the short term.
The final decision is yours alone to make, so do think about all the pros and cons of offering cable, internet, and utility services. Remember that each situation is different, which means there is no “standard” solution. But when you have good information, you can arrive at the choice that is best for you.
Consult the experts in the industry. Meet with a professional Charleston property manager today. At Real Property Management Charleston, 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 843-900-4061.
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