There is no simple answer to the question of what is included in the rent. This is because the answer will likely vary from one apartment complex to the next. Some apartment complexes may include a variety of items within their rent while others may charge renters additional fees as needed and still others may require the renters to register directly with individual public utilities and handle these expenses on their own.

Likewise some apartment complexes may include additional features with the price of the rent while others may charge additional fees for these features. A pool, exercise room, meeting room or theater are just a few examples which may be offered by an apartment complex. In most cases the use of these amenities are included in the price of the rent but there are exceptions where the renter is charged an additional fee for the privilege of using these amenities.

Consider the Price of Utilities

When considering the price or a rental property, the renter should first determine whether or not utilities are included in the cost of the rent. This is significant because depending on the size of the property and the climate of the area, heating and cooling costs can be rather expensive. In most cases, the renter is responsible for the cost of their own utilities and their apartment is individually monitored for usage and the renter is billed monthly by the utility company. However, in the case of an individual renting an apartment in a private home as opposed to an apartment complex, the homeowner may collect money for utility uses in another way. Depending on the agreement between the homeowner and the renter the monthly rent may be set at a rate which includes a contribution to the utility costs or the renter may be assessed a pre-determined percentage of each utility bill on a monthly basis.

It is important to consider the price of utilities when they are not included in the rent because failure to do so can lead to unpleasant surprises in the future. For example a renter in a particularly cold climate may rent a spacious apartment for a great rate only to find out later that the cost of heating the apartment makes it difficult for the renter to afford to live in the apartment.

Consider Amenities which are “Free”

When renters are selecting an apartment, they should consider the amenities which are “free” as opposed to the amenities for which the renter is charged an additional fee. The word free is used in quotations in the heading of this section to indicate these amenities do not always come without a price. A renter may not pay a usage fee for some amenities but it is very likely the privilege of using these amenities is factored into the monthly rent.

As an example consider two 800 square foot apartments in the same geographical area. Each apartment may have a similar layout and comparable square footage but the monthly rents associated with these two apartments might be quite different. In examining the amenities you might notice the higher prices apartment has access to a pool, an exercise room and a theater all for the use of residents while the lower priced apartment offers no such amenities. In this case the residents of the more expensive apartments are actually paying a higher monthly rent as a result of the amenities offered.

In a case such as the example above, renters should weight their options carefully. If they can afford to pay the more expensive rent, they should carefully consider whether or not they wish to pay a higher fee for use of the amenities. A renter who doesn’t like to swim, belongs to a gym and does not have a great deal of free time to watch movies may decide they would be better off selecting the lower priced apartment without amenities.

Rentals in Alexandria

678 Columbus St S

Adorable row home with luxury finishes, in prime quadrant of Old Town-even has underground garage + street parking! Main level completely open with kitchen right out of a magazine, and walk your friends and favorite drink right out to the patio with privacy fence. Up one level, two spacious bedrooms share a stunning bath, and then top level could be perfect office or guest suite with full bath.[$3,200 - Alexandria, VA 22314]

6 Sunset Dr #3

FREE RENT! Commuter's Dream Come True in sought after Rosemont. This bldg is one block to King Street Metro and a stone's throw to Old Towne Alexandria waterfront. It has new stove and hood, refinished cabinets, gleaming hardwood floors, subway tile backsplash and under counter LED lights in Kitchen. New windows. Full size w/d in unit. 1 MONTH FREE -13 MONTH LEASECall today[$1,650 - Alexandria, VA 22301]

6101 Edsall Rd #1706

Gorgeous Renovation! Utilities and parking included! New kitchen with eat-in nook, stainless steel appliances, granite counters, ceramic tile floors. Stunning hardwood floors in LR, DR & hallways. Scenic views from huge 27' balcony off of LR & comfy balcony off of MBR. Two superb new modern baths. Good size BRs w/walk-in closet, washer/dryer, minutes to Van Dorn Metro, 495, 395 & shopping.[$1,975 - Alexandria, VA 22304]

5308 Remington Dr

Unique 4BR 3BA home nestled in MT Vernon Terrace, a waterfront community. ~ acre lot large backyard with pool and patio that backs to FT Belvoir. Large master suite with sitting/den area. HW floors on the main level. Pool Maintenance included in rent![$3,100 - Alexandria, VA 22309]

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Stuart Nesbitt

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Stuart Nesbitt is a Realtor® licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia. His office is located in Fairfax County near the City of Alexandria in Belle Haven. He was born and raised in Northern Virginia and attended Fairfax County schools. Call him at any time to discuss your real estate needs.