Skip to Content

Is a Landlord Responsible for Tenants’ Utility Bills?

As a landlord in Southern Maryland, understanding your responsibilities regarding utility bills is essential. Let’s break it down:

Basic Utilities and Tenant Responsibilities

When it comes to basic utilities, tenants typically cover the following expenses:

  • Water
  • Gas
  • Sewer
  • Electricity
  • Cable or Internet Charges

However, there’s an exception: if your property is part of a Homeowner’s Association (HOA), certain amenities like water might be provided by the HOA. It’s crucial to differentiate between HOA dues and utilities. HOA fees are not the tenant’s responsibility, and failure to pay them could lead to a lien on your property.

HOA Privileges

In some cases, tenants may need to pay for specific HOA privileges. For instance, consider our Wildwood community in California, Maryland, which features a pool. If a tenant wants pool access, they must pay the associated HOA fee as outlined in the lease agreement.

Preparing for Tenant Move-In

Before a tenant moves in, follow these steps:

  • Provide the tenant with a list of utilities that need to be transferred into their name.
  • Request verification and account numbers to document the utility transfers.
  • If your property uses refillable energy sources (such as gas or oil tanks), ensure they are filled before move-in. This ensures the tenant starts with a full tank.

Tenant Move-Out and Utility Transfers

When a tenant provides a move-out notice:

  • Transfer utilities back to your name on the specified move-out date.
  • Ensure final utility bills are sent to the tenant’s forwarding address.
  • Before releasing the security deposit, verify that there are no outstanding utility bills.
  • Deduct any unpaid utility amounts from the security deposit.

Maintaining Working Utilities

As an owner, it’s your responsibility to keep utilities in working order throughout the tenancy. Regular maintenance ensures tenant satisfaction and compliance with legal requirements.

Remember, clear communication and proper documentation are key to a successful landlord-tenant relationship. Trust Real Property Management Gold to guide you through the intricacies of property management in Southern Maryland. We’re here to help you achieve peace of mind and maximize your investment returns.

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.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details