If you’ve noticed a common thread to my posts, it is the critical nature of setting proper expectations for ALL PARTIES in a lease transaction. In other words, it’s critical for the Tenant to know what is expected of them just as it is for the Landlord to know their role.
Today’s article is about the need to properly and repeatedly communicate with Tenants about utilities. And keeping them turned on!
Now, most leases will have clauses in them about who pays for the utilities–Tenant or Landlord–and that is good to have this clarity. Where I see the expectation “break down” between Tenant and Landlord or Tenant and Property Manager is this: What about the time period when a Tenant voluntarily moves out of the home before the end of the lease and they turn off the utilities thinking they’ll save money?
Case in Point: The picture of this once-beautiful hardwood kitchen floor, likely ruined by the short-sighted thinking of a Tenant.
The Tenant moved out early, disconnecting his electricity and gas service. After all, he had completely moved out and didn’t see the need to pay for an empty house. Common sense, right? Except the Tenant forgot about what happens when electricity isn’t flowing to a property, specifically the refrigerator. The ice in the freezer side of the appliance melts and the water finds the path of least resistance for an exit–meaning out the bottom of the fridge.
And now the landlord and tenant have a problem. A pricey problem. A problem which could have been avoided.
Anticipate your Tenant’s actions and you can look forward to Financial Freedom much faster.