No matter where you live, one of the primary concerns is what the bills will look like outside of your rent. The utilities can make up a big part of that, as they have a big impact on your cost of living. Add in Minnesota’s climate, and there are definitely seasons that gobble up more energy than others. Here’s a look at some things to consider with utilities when looking for apartments for rent in Minneapolis.
What Is Meant By Utilities?
When talking about utilities, it’s really a blanket term that covers a number of outlying costs that aren’t included in your rent or mortgage. The heavy hitters are electricity, gas and water, but this also includes other things like trash collection and internet also come into play. These are all the outlying necessities that you need to keep the lights on, stay warm during the winter, etc.
In 2021, the average utility cost for a family of three in Minnesota was around $450 per month. That’s including all utilities, and that number is up for interpretation if you’re trying to figure out what your utility footprint will be. If you are single and/or don’t have children, or if you live in a one-bedroom apartment, for example, the burden from these bills will be significantly less.
How Are Utility Bills Calculated?
Of course, determining the cost of utilities depends on a multitude of factors. Things like lifestyle, size of your family, size of the space you’re renting – even what temperature you need to feel comfortable can play a role in your utility bill. This list of factors is going to be different for just about every situation. Gaining a baseline of costs for your individual usage, or your family’s usage, will be helpful in determining your overall cost for everything in a given month.
For example, in Minneapolis, water and sewer rates are determined per unit – and each unit is 100 cubic feet of water, or about 748 gallons. The cost per unit for water in 2022 was $3.68, and the cost per unit for sewer was $5.01. Electricity is calculated by multiplying total kilowatt hours times the electricity rate, and things like internet and cable are a set monthly fee set by your carrier. For current rates and charges, check Minneapolis’ city website or check with the entity providing the service.
Are These Included in My Rent?
Depending on the rental property and the lease agreement, some or all utilities might be covered by your rent. Some landlords have tenant utility agreements built into the lease, especially if it’s in a complex where multiple units are being rented in a single property.
It’s easier to have the tenant set up utilities if they’re renting a condo or single-family home. But if there are a number of apartments in a complex, the landlord can pay the bill and then add that into the rent. This can be done with a flat rate based off the average usage getting added to the rent, or by simply dividing the bills by the number of units each month and adding that amount to the rent.
These bills clearly fluctuate every month, and it’s totally up to each individual landlord to deal with how the tenant pays for them. It’s important to check out your lease and ask questions to clarify who is on the hook for what bill before committing to moving into a property.