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What Utilities Will I Need to Pay For If I Move Into An Apartment?

As a first-time renter, the excitement of moving into your very own place is likely to know no bounds. You may even feel compelled to ignore the less-exciting details like budgeting, expenses, bills, and the cost of utilities. However, it’s important to work those things out before you sign the lease. You want to know exactly what you will be paying for.

Setting Up Utilities 

One of the first things you will need to set up in your new apartment is utilities. After all, every rental needs water, electricity, internet, and gas, to name a few.

When you move into a rented apartment, you bear responsibility for most of the utilities that come with it. There are different requirements from one state to the other in terms of who pays for which utilities. Utilities the renter is responsible for also vary by type of rental property with multi-unit buildings often covering more utilities than single-family homes for rent.

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What Utilities Do You Need to Pay For?

A typical list of utilities that you need to set up for an apartment includes:

  • Electricity
  • Heat
  • Air conditioning
  • Water
  • Gas
  • Trash collection
  • Cable
  • Internet

To help break it down for you, here is a list of utilities that you need to pay for when you move into an apartment.


You obviously need electricity wherever you go. From appliances and gadgets to lighting fixtures to heating and cooling systems, everything runs on electricity, the cost of which falls on the tenant.

There are many electricity providers that you can hire, depending on where you live. The ultimate cost of this utility eventually comes down to how much electricity to use and how big your space is. For example, a studio apartment renter is likely to spend around $65 a month without healing and cooling; whereas a two-bedroom apartment is likely to cost around $90 a month for electricity.

Natural Gas

This is used for cooking and heating and is just as important as electricity. 

However, an important thing to note here is that some rental units come with a gas stove, while others come with an electric stove. If your rented apartment has a gas stove, you will definitely need to pay for the supply of natural gas for daily cooking and other gas-burning tasks. Homes with electric stoves often use gas for heating and hot water systems, so keep that in mind as well.


In today’s time, everything requires internet. A stable Wi-Fi connection is an absolute must-have in a newly rented apartment and is the top amenity for anyone working from home.

Yes, it is another utility that you need to pay for when moving into a new apartment, but the good news is that you will find numerous internet providers with a variety of packages. So you can simply choose the internet package that best suits your needs.

Water and Sewer

Unlike other utilities, this one is measured with the help of a meter. However, water and sewer facilities costs are either billed to the entire apartment community or to individual apartments separately.

In the former case, the bill is typically split by the total number of apartments in the community, and each apartment pays the respective amount, which is added to their next rent payment. In the latter case, however, you pay according to your water consumption amount, which may be less or more than the other residents in the apartment community.

Cable and Telephone 

These two utilities are usually purchased together, the cost of which is the responsibility of the renter. Again, you will find many cable and telephone providers who often create customized package according to the renter’s needs and how much they are likely to use in a given month.

Security Systems 

Whether you are living in an apartment or a house, security is of utmost importance, which includes security cameras, alarm systems, and many others.

Not all rental units come with security systems in place, which is why when you rent an apartment, it is possible that you might have to install a system separately on your own, for which you will have to bear the cost.


The cost of trash is usually included in your total rent; however, if your rented apartment comes with a valet waste service, you might not have to pay for it.

The cost of this utility depends on the apartment you choose as well as the landlord.

When Are You Likely to Be Billed for Utilities?

Every utility provider comes with its own billing cycle, and their due dates are also different from one another. 

Some providers are likely to bill you each month, while others might require you to pay up every other month. In some cases, these providers might even create a plan or package for you, according to which you might be billed every few months.

How to Set Up Utilities?

Many tenants struggle with the part where they have to set up different utilities.

Once you are ready to move into your newly rented apartment, check your lease for details about what utilities you’re responsible for.

At the same time, it is best to ask your landlord if they have any specific requirements or instructions for you to be able to turn on your utilities. 

In most cases, water is usually on and available the same day you move into your new apartment. If not, you might have to create an account with your local provider. They will probably ask you to confirm your address, and unit number, input billing information and ask you when you wish to schedule the utility service, so be sure to have that information on hand. 

Final Word

The number of utilities that you eventually have to pay for depends on the contract signed between you and your landlord. The final services included in your rent typically vary from place to place. There are many large apartment complexes that offer extensive amenity packages with great utility features, while others might ask you to pay for the services and utilities à la carte. Now that you have power and internet you are ready to decorate your apartment!

Utilities aren’t the only expenses you need to consider when renting an apartment. Take a look at our other great posts on Dwellsy’s blog. Ready to look for your new home? Dwellsy is here to help!

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