Why All Bills Paid Apartments Aren’t Always Cheaper

Published: March 3, 2017 9:39 am

Finding the perfect apartment isn’t always easy. There are so many things to consider when finding a property that’s the right fit. Is it in the right neighborhood? Does it have a good floor plan that fits my furniture? Is it pet-friendly? And most importantly, how much is the rent, deposits and utilities?

With rising cost of rent and astronomical costs of moving, renters are constantly on the lookout for ways to save on housing expenses. One popular way some renters are attempting to save money is by opting for All Bills Paid (aka All Utilities Paid) apartment leases.

Renting an apartment where the utilities are included might sound like it will save you money. But, before you rule out other lease options, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons of renting an All Bills Paid apartment.

Pros of All Bills Paid Apartments

  1. No additional deposit for utilities. After putting down security deposits, pet deposits and your first month’s rent, saving money or transfer fees on water, gas or electric services sounds like a smart, cost-saving measure.
  2. No credit or bad credit, no problem. If you have bad credit or no credit with utility companies, you will have utility services at your new apartment.
  3. Simplify your monthly bills. You only have to remember to pay one monthly bill to your landlord.
  4. No surprise bills. Your monthly bill will not be affected by Oklahoma’s extreme weather. It won’t affect your monthly bill if you have to constantly run the air conditioning to keep your apartment cool or run the heat to keep your pipes from freezing. You will have the same bill at the end of every month, which makes budgeting your monthly housing expenses a breeze.
  5. Set the thermostat to your preference rather than your budget. You can set the thermostat as high or as low as you want without worrying how it will impact your bank account.

Cons of All Bills Paid Apartments

  1. All Bills Paid rent tends to be more expensive.  Rent at apartment complexes where tenants pay their utilities tend to be much cheaper than rent at complexes where utilities are included. It’s a little-known fact that landlords use the highest average monthly utility cost as a baseline to add to every tenants’ monthly rental fees at All Bills Paid apartments.
  2. You don’t actually control the thermostat. Most properties offering All Utilities Paid options have boiler or chiller systems, which limits your access to air conditioning or heat. You can control the temperature setting on the thermostat, but you cannot switch between A/C and heat. The property manager ultimately decides whether the heat or air is on. With ever changing Oklahoma weather, it’s an overlooked luxury to be in control of your apartment’s climate.
  3. Keep your monthly bills in check with technology. All Bills Paid is no longer the only way to have predictable utility bills. If you want to know what your average monthly utility costs will be, both OG&E and ONG offer programs for this to avoid big swings during peak seasons. Check out OG&E’s Flat Bill or Smart Hours and ONG’s Average Payment Plan.
  4. You might be paying for your neighbors’ utilities. Does your apartment house a lot of students, retirees or telecommuters? If so, then at All Bills Paid apartments, you are paying for the utilities your neighbors use all day while you’re at work. If you don’t spend a lot of time at your apartment and aren’t constantly running TVs, the A/C or taking 30-minute showers, you’ll come out ahead on your monthly housing expenses.
  5. You miss opportunities to build your credit. Placing deposits and paying your bills on time each month to institutions like utility companies will help build your credit. If you’re looking for a property that is All Bills Paid (aka All Utilities Paid) because you owe OG&E money, it will show up on your credit report and cause your application to be denied.

If you’ve read through this article and are still considering leasing an All Bills Paid apartment, make sure you ask the apartment manager:

  1. Who controls the thermostat? Do I have a thermostat in my apartment that I have total control over?
  2. Is there a limit to water, electric and gas usage? If so, at what point will I start to incur overage charges?

Click here to see the All Utilities Paid apartment options in your area. If you still have questions or need help finding the best apartment for you, give us a call or email. The experts at Apartment Locators OK have more than 30 years of experience in provides FREE apartment location services for renters across Oklahoma.