As mentioned below, it depends on the property. However if the property currently doesn't have a sprinkler system then adding would would most certainly be a waste of money for a rental. I own several properties that are in older areas and don't have sprinkler systems. I provide lawn care for these properties. Its just easier that way, no worries of renters cutting the grass or neighbors complaining to the city over tall grass. Its a little extra to pay each month but as a Landlord I find its worth it due to reduced headaches. I do have one property that's newer that has a sprinkler system, its on an automatic program and runs on its own well with a rain sensor. The controls are locked so the system cannot be turned off. In the lease it states if tampered with and the grass dies the renter is responsible for the replacement of the grass, its never been an issue because the home is in a newer neighborhood where everyone is proud of their green lawns. I provide the lawn car on this property too.... more
The best answer requires a little homework on your part. Start by calling your local utility companies. Be sure to tell them how you own the home via personal title or in the name of a company or LLC. Your main goal here is to find out if the tenant does not pay will the delinquent lien follow the tenant or will there be a lien placed on the property? Here in Miami Dade if I own a home in a corporate entity the lien stays with the tenant. However if I personally own the home and the tenant skips out on a high water bill I am now responsible for that bill and it can be attached as a lien to the title. That is why its important to explain your type of ownership before you ask the question.
The answer boils down to if your responsible for a delinquent bill or not? If your not responsible then simply place those bills in the tenants name. This is the best option! If you will be responsible keep the utilities in your name to ensure they are paid ontime. Then you have three options. 1) have the tenant pay the bill each month on top of the rent. 2) include the average bill in the rent and increase the rent by that avg. (take note with this option that the lease states no car washing or pool fillings, no second refrigerators ect...) 3) Have the lease state that the rent includes up to XX amount of the bill. Anything over that amount is due within 5 days of the bill.
Regarding the HOA fees, I would simply include them into the rent. Now you stated long term rentals so you may want to have an annual increase built in to allow for HOA increases.
It all depends on how you are renting the part of your residence. If they are renting a room, technically they are a roomate and you are fine, but if you are renting, say a basement that does not have legal outside access, you are in trouble if there is say a fire of flood and they can not get out. It is a liability nightmare in that case. Good luck.... more