Some single-family rental property owners see the benefit of offering certain amenities to their tenants. There are a good number of Salem property owners who are thinking about 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, in some cases, is not only good to make your rental home more competitive but it also does a lot to attract tenants as well. On the other hand, the amenities offered may not be what some tenants are looking for. This risks 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.
In some markets, it’s standard practice to offer amenities, but in others, it will give your rental home 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 plan to have more than one tenant for a property, providing such amenities can eliminate conflict and spare them from many of the more common hassles of renting a home. For instances such as this, you can raise the rental rate to cover the costs of each amenity, and these types of tenants would gladly pay a higher rate for them.
However, in some markets, providing amenities like cable, internet, and utilities just won’t work. For some demographics, these amenities do not make sense. Even with the popularity of internet service and cable television increasing, not all renters may want or need it. Asking tenants to pay more for a service they don’t want just might 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 goes for utilities as well. In places with more than one option for utility service, the tenants may prefer to set up and manage their own services with the provider of their choice. Doing this also gives them more control over how much they pay for those utilities rather than paying a fixed sum included in their monthly rent.
For the property owner, there are advantages and disadvantages to either option. Setting up cable, internet, and utilities in your name give you more control over the services available or installed on your property. The property owner would have to deal with abandoned satellite dishes or other paraphernalia if they give their tenant the choice on the matter. But if the choice is up to you, then 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. In addition, signing up for internet and cable service typically involves some up-front costs, and this may be difficult for a landlord 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. All these can significantly impact an owner’s cash flows, at least in the short term.
The final decision of whether to offer them cable, internet and utility services is yours to make. So do consider all the pros and cons. 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.
Don’t hesitate to consult the experts in the industry. Speak with a professional Salem property manager today. At Real Property Management Hometown, we make it our business to help you succeed in the real estate investment game without all the hassle. Feel free to contact us online or by phone at 501-701-4702 or 501-239-5811.
We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.