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Advice,  Helpful guides,  Rental properties

Guide on Utilities in your Rental Apartment

If you’re renting an apartment, whether it’s for a temporary stay or long term, it’s important to understand all aspects related to the property’s utilities. In this article, we provide a detailed guide for landlords and how to efficiently manage utilities in your properties to maintain a harmonious and conflict-free relationship with your tenants and service providers.


What are my responsibilities as a landlord regarding utilities?

As a landlord, it’s important to know your responsibilities regarding the utilities in a rental apartment. This includes ensuring that basic utilities like water, electricity, and gas are operational and safe to use. Additionally, you should be aware of existing contracts and agreements with service providers and ensure timely payments.

Who pays for the utility activation?

It is the landlord’s responsibility to register the activation of basic utilities in the property or to transfer the ownership. Additionally, you must ensure the property is habitable, which involves addressing any issues that may arise, such as paying for repairs or damages caused by normal wear and tear.

From the moment a tenant rents the property, they assume responsibility for the utility costs generated from that point onward, such as electricity, water, and gas. To avoid potentially misunderstandings, it is advisable to clearly state in the rental agreement who will be responsible for paying these services and how the payment will be handled.

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Contracts with service providers

It is essential to have clear contracts and agreements with utility service providers to ensure proper management of these in a rental apartment. These contracts should specify the terms and conditions, including payment deadlines, the responsibilities of each party, and any termination clauses. Additionally, it’s important to keep a copy of these contracts and agreements in a secure and accessible place for future reference.


Utility rates

It’s very important to keep utility rates and conditions updated to avoid surprises on monthly bills. Therefore, we recommend periodically reviewing the rates of the utilities contracted for your property, including current consumption prices, billing cycles, and other contract conditions with utility companies.


Changing utility providers

It’s always important to assess and negotiate the most favourable rates that suit your property’s actual consumption. If you want to switch to a different utility company that better suits your preferences, consider the following key steps: 

Research the market:

Before making the switch, it’s advisable to research and compare different utility companies to find the best option for your needs. Consider factors such as the cost of services, the quality of the supply, customer service, and billing policies. Also, read reviews and feedback from other users to get a clearer idea of each company’s reputation.

Notify your current provider:

Once you’ve selected the new utility company, you need to inform your current company about the decision to switch providers. Note that while changing companies is usually free, there may be associated costs for termination, such as penalties for early termination or advance notice requirements.

Necessary documents

You must provide the following documentation to the new provider to activate the service with them:

    • Full name
    • ID of the account holder
    • Email and contact phone number
    • Exact address of the property (and supply point)
    • CUPS (Universal Supply Point Code)
    • Bank account details

If the process seems tedious, there are solutions like Polaroo that handle this task for you, making the management of your property’s utilities an easy and simple process.

Ilustración gráfica que muestra una computadora portátil con un sobre de correo, una lupa, gráficos y un teléfono móvil, simbolizando el uso de herramientas digitales para la gestión de suministros y análisis de datos en alquileres.


Technologies for utility management

A great ally for efficiently managing your apartment’s utility consumption without worries is technology. As previously explained, incorporating smart technology in the home is a perfect solution. There are apps and platforms, some provided by the utility companies themselves, that allow you to control all utilities from your mobile. This facilitates both management for the landlord and subsequent communication of data to the tenants.


Legal and regulatory aspects

Lastly, it’s crucial to be aware of local and national regulations regarding utilities. Ensure compliance with all regulations to avoid penalties and guarantee the safety of your tenants. For example, some considerations to keep in mind:

  • Energy Certification: In some areas, it’s mandatory to have an energy efficiency certificate to rent out a property.
  • Energy-efficient appliances: Increasingly, there are regulations about using high-efficiency appliances. Take advantage of the opportunity to save costs in the long run and increase the value of your apartment. 
  • Safety regulations: Make sure that gas, electricity, and water installations comply with current safety standards. Additionally, make sure you have the necessary licences and conduct regular inspections of the equipment.

Failing to comply with these regulations could result in legal penalties for the landlord.

Cocina moderna con armarios azules y electrodomésticos eficientes, subrayando la relevancia de elegir electrodomésticos que ahorren energía en un piso de alquiler.


Following these tips will not only improve the efficiency of your utilities but also increase tenant satisfaction and loyalty. Remember, a happy tenant is the best advertisement for your apartment. At AB Apartment Barcelona, we take care of the complete management of your property, ensuring that all aspects, including utilities, are always in perfect condition to offer the best experience for both landlords and tenants.

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