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Which Amenities Should You Provide for Your Williamsburg Tenants?

Mother and Daughter Watching Cable TV in Their Williamsburg Rental HomeMany single-family rental property owners understand that they can benefit from offering certain amenities to their tenants. Many Williamsburg property owners are considering including some amenities like internet and cable television service as well as utilities like water, sewer, and even electricity in the cost of the rent. And doing this, in some cases, makes a rental home both more competitive and more attractive to tenants. 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 is a clear example of why you need to understand what your target demographic wants— which amenities appeal to them. Knowing your local market is key to making smart choices 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 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. They may be looking for a rental home that adds cable and internet services as well as utilities. 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. In cases like this, you can raise the rental rate to cover the costs of each amenity, and tenants like these would be willing to pay a 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. Despite the increasing popularity of internet service and cable television, some renters just don’t want or need it. Asking tenants to pay more for a service they don’t want just might drive them away.

Many renters want the freedom to choose whether they pay for these types of amenities, as well as choose their own service providers. The same applies to utilities as well. Tenants may prefer to set up and manage their own services with the provider of their choice. This is especially true in areas with more than one option for utility service. Doing this grants the power of control to the tenants. They can 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. 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. Since you’re the account holder, you’ll have 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 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 with good information, you can be sure that you’re making the most profitable decision.

Why not consult the expert in the industry? Meet with a professional Williamsburg property manager today. At Real Property Management Dominion, we make it our business to help you succeed in the real estate investment game without all the hassle. Contact us online or by phone at 757-395-4274.

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