I'm looking around apartments not to live in - but to rent out for some cash flow. I'm eying a particular co-op and was wondering: Hypothetically, I took out a mortgage for the co-op.

Am I responsible for paying the electric bill and maintenance every month or is my tenant responsible for those? I've looked around online and couldn't find a concrete answer.

I'm in Queens, NY if that matters.

Thanks for taking the time to read.


Unless there are local laws that would prevent it (unlikely but landlord-tenant law is very, very local in nature), you're free to structure the lease however you'd like. If you want to pass along the electric bill to the tenant, you're free to put that into the lease. Of course, that likely means that you'd have to charge less in rent than if electricity was included. You probably want to take a look at what other landlords targeting the same demographic are doing-- if most landlords are including electricity, you generally don't want to be an outlier.

  • Additionally co-ops may have specific rules about who is able to rent as unlike a single family home, you own share in the corporation which owns the property (generally to avoid a building populated by renters). OP should do research on co-op ownership. Jun 7 '20 at 5:35
  • Yes, and they may again depend on coop.
    – TomTom
    Jun 7 '20 at 8:38

I've looked around online and couldn't find a concrete answer.

There is no concrete answer. There is a "usual" answer depending on region and possibly rental details, but in pretty much all jurisductions you CAN deviate. i.e. it may be normal to include all utilities - but you may rent out way lower to a friend and the contract may say he has to pay all costs. I know areas where most appartments are rented out with kitchen, but some may not, i.e.

I would suggest reading up on some offers and look how they are structured -basically get a feel on what is normal in your area of interest.


The general convention is that you charge a fixed rent per month. As landlord, you pay all structural fees (property taxes, property insurance, homeowner fees if part of a POA or HOA, repairs). The tenant pays for all personal utilities. Avoid paying for utilities because wasteful tenant usage tenants can bite you.

With that said, you are free offer any arrangement that you want. When I owned and rented out properties, in some instances I paid for the landscaper to maintain the property as well as a portion of the water bill for its irrigation. In reality, the rent was higher to cover these expenses.

If you want to get an idea of what is usual in the area, go to a realtor and pretend to want to rent a similar property as yours. Let them provide the lay of the land, so to speak.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.