Las Vegas Property Management How-To: Who Pays the Utilities?

When it comes to renting out your property, there is always a negotiation when it comes to who will pay the utilities in the home. Usually, it is the tenant who uses them, so the tenant should pay for them. The owner is often expected to pay any HOA dues that apply. Some landlords pay some or all of the utilities and that can be tricky in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and Henderson because each area handles utilities differently.

For example, in North Las Vegas, when you pay the water bill, the sewer and trash costs are also included in that bill. In Henderson, the water bill includes the sewer costs but not the trash costs, and those are billed separately. In Las Vegas, the sewer, water and trash are all billed separately. The way you organize your utility payments might depend on where your property is located, and how those services are billed and paid.

las vegas property management how to utilitiesIn Las Vegas and Henderson, it is important to remember that the sewer and trash companies can place a lien against your property for unpaid bills. When the electric company or the water company wants to get paid, all they have to do is shut off their services. However, the sewer and trash companies have no way to do that. They cannot shut of the sewer or avoid the trash on the side of the street in front of your house, waiting to be collected. That will create a sanitation problem that the city will want to avoid. Instead, they will continue to pick up your trash and allow your sewer to flow whether the bill is paid or not. However, they will also find a way to get the money you owe them; usually by placing a lien against your house.

At Blackbird Realty and Management, when we do leases, we make sure the tenants pay all the utility bills, but we have them reimburse you for payments that you might make in order to avoid a lien or any past due billing problems. That way, the trash and sewer bills will come in the owner’s name each month, and if the owner pays the bills, the tenants are required to reimburse.

Anytime the water and sewer bills are part of the HOA dues, we assume the owner will pay those bills since the HOA charges are the owner’s responsibility. Then, you can advertise and market your property as being one where those utilities are included.

If you have any questions about how to manage your utilities and their payments, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Blackbird Realty. We look forward to talking with you.


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