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What is the meaning of rent with “utilities included”?

You have probably already seen it on your lease or in real estate ads, but do you know what the term “rent with utilities included” means? This indicates that the rent displayed includes the amount of the rental charges, as well as the utilities related to the energy consumption estimated for a normal consumption of energy over the year (water, electricity, gas). These are in fact a provision for the year’s utilities. At the end of the year, an adjustment may be made according to your actual consumption.

What is a lease expense?

Expenses originally paid by the landlord are called “rental expenses“. These expenses are reimbursed by the tenant and subtenants. These are calculated on a pro rata basis over a year. The amount paid monthly is an advance on charges. You may see the words “recoverable rental expense”. This means that if the sub-tenant has spent less than the provision, he/she can recover the difference.

The list of rental expenses

The rental charges include 3 types of charges: 

  • Common charges
    • Access to the building (intercom, digicode) 
    • Maintenance of the building
    • Carrying out of works, such as the restoration of the facade
    • Syndic meetings and general assemblies
  • Private charges – as the name indicates, they belong to a single co-owner and include 
    • Rental tax
    • Recovery of charges in case of unpaid
  • Collective and/or individual consumption

What is included in the term "utilities included"?

The note “utilities included” can sometimes be difficult to understand. You should know that it only takes into account the fees attributed to the landlord and from which the tenant benefits, i.e. the rental utilities or the recoverable charges. 

Depending on the type of property rented in coliving, its location, and the services offered, the rental charges may include :

  • Custodial services 
    • The remuneration of the guard
    • Management of the guard’s lodge
    • Remuneration of other employees
  • Elevator and elevator expenses
    • Maintenance
    • Operation
    • Equipment repairs
    • Electricity
  • Cold water, hot water and collective heating
    • Linked to the life of the inhabitants of the buildings of the co-ownership
    • Linked to the maintenance of the common parts and the exterior of the building
    • Linked to taxes and fees such as waste water treatment
    • Related to the so-called routine maintenance (repair of leaks, replacement of sealing devices, etc.) and periodic maintenance (maintenance of pipes, etc.)
  • Maintenance of common areas and exterior spaces
    • Cleanliness of the hall (carpeting, cleaning, garbage collection, etc.)
    • Maintenance of green areas (automatic or non-automatic watering, lawn mowing, brush cutting, tree pruning, planting of plants and flowers, etc.)
    • Maintenance in case of atmospheric changes (salting in case of heavy snowfall, etc.)

This mention is also regulated by the law. Find all the charges included in the mention “charges included” in the document annexed to the decree of August 26, 1987.

What expenses are not taken into account?

However, not all the existing charges are included in the note “utilities included” linked to the rent, such as “own” charges: taxes and housing tax. Would you like to know more about this last point? Find more details in our explanatory article on the housing tax in a shared apartment.

How to estimate the amount of rental charges ?

The rental charges are not determined randomly. Each year, the statement of condominium charges is sent to the various owners. The total charges allocated to the building are therefore divided by the number of owners. It is on this basis that the rental charges are calculated.

What is the procedure for adjusting rental charges when I am a tenant?

Of course, it happens that the rental charges are higher or lower than the estimate obtained last year. The owner or lessor will have to compare the estimated charges with the actual charges provided by the building’s management company. There are two possible scenarios and calculations:

If the amount of the rental charges is higher than the estimated provisions, the tenants will have to pay the difference the month following the regularization of the charges.

If the amount of the rental charges is lower than the estimated provisions, the owner or lessor will have to pay the difference to the tenants the month following the regularization.

Coliving, the solution that is revolutionizing real estate

When you have to move to a new city, there are various types of accommodation available to you. Rental, hotel, shared apartment, … why not try coliving? Coliving appeared on the real estate market a few years ago, and it breaks the rules of the classic shared housing system. A clever mix between a shared apartment and a hotel, coliving allows you to enjoy large spaces in the heart of the cities where we are located, for a moderate rent. Our coliving apartments include common spaces (at least one kitchen and one bathroom) as well as private spaces (at least one bedroom per roommate) to allow each of you to keep your privacy. Some of our apartments are even equipped with a cinema room, gym, rooftops or garden. A great way to share good times with your roommates.


Also, with Colivys, you won’t have to worry about rental charges. Water, electricity, gas, internet, home insurance. Everything is included and directly integrated in your mensual rent price !

Are you a student? Our coliving apartments are accessible to you. If you are a foreign national without a guarantor, you can also apply for one of our coliving rooms. We work with partner companies such as GarantMe who will act as guarantor for you. To find out more, visit our dedicated page