Write a Top-Level Landlord-Tenant Utility Agreement With Ease
One of the crucial aspects of any landlord-tenant relationship is dividing utility costs between the parties. It can be regulated by signing a specific legal document that will state all the related agreed-upon terms.
If you need some assistance in writing your landlord-tenant utility agreement, this guide is all you need! Find out what this contract serves for and what elements it should contain. We will also share a tip or two for creating contracts instantly with DoNotPay’s practical Standardized Legal Documents feature.
A utility agreement is a legal document that usually goes hand in hand with a lease or rental agreement. Its purpose is to determine which party should pay for the utilities related to the leased property or how the costs should be divided between the landlord and tenant. The parties can create the agreement as a separate contract or add a utility addendum to the existing tenancy agreement.
Once the parties decide to enter a utility agreement or add a special amendment to the primary lease agreement, they should:
- Discuss the utility costs with the landlord before they sign a lease or rental agreement—The tenant must know what utility services exist on the property and be aware of all specific policies related to expenses and billing. The best bet is to ask the property owner:
- What costs the tenant would be responsible for
- Which expenses the landlord should pay
- What the penalties for late fees would be
- If there are any outstanding utility charges
- How the landlord calculates the tenant’s portion of the utilities
- Consider shared utility arrangements when deciding how to divide the expenses—The parties may want to contact a submetering company and have water submeters installed in each unit. The landlord can also install separate gas or electric meters. This type of division is mandatory in some U.S. states
Most state laws don’t have specific regulations related to utility agreements or utility clauses within residential lease agreements. These are usually short documents that contain only a few sections, which are described in the following table:
|General information||The introductory part of the contract should cover:
|Payment details||The middle section serves to describe the way utility bills will be divided between the parties. It should include all types of related costs, including:
The contract should determine the party who provides the service and the exact percentage of the expenses that each signing entity should pay for all utilities
|Conclusion||The parties should leave some space for the signatures and the date of signing at the end of the document|
The signers can modify this structure according to their personal needs or add any other section they consider significant to the contract.
Writing a lease agreement or any other type of contract can be quite challenging and overbearing. Besides taking care of legal terminology and necessary elements to include, you must ensure your document complies with all governing laws in the state. Online contract templates may seem like an acceptable solution, but they don’t always cover all the specific details you want to define.
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