Tenant: What is the rent?
SimplyGuest: The all-inclusive rent is XXXX / Month?
Tenant: What all is included in the rent?
SimplyGuest: All utility bills, maintenance are inclusive in the rent that you pay. You only have to pay for your consumables like cleaning material, food and drinking water, etc.
Tenant: Oh, that's high! The other service provider is giving it at 70% of your rate.
SimplyGuest: I understand, but they don't include any bills and don’t provide any services as well; here we make all bill payments - even if you are alone in the house - you just have to pay your rent and don’t worry about bills. Also, any general wear and tear related expenses are inclusive in rent. You don't have to spend anything extra on the maintenance of the house.
Tenant: There also maintenance is inclusive.
SimplyGuest: Ok, but compare the overall cost, and that we provide hasslefree living as we take care of anything, you will not have to do anything.
This is a typical conversation I have with almost 90% of people who reach out to us looking for a place to stay. The rents we mention in the SimplyGuest website are all-inclusive. When someone asks what all is inclusive, we end up specifying a bunch of things, but still, there are a lot more costs involved in running a house and keeping it functional than what meets the eye.
In this article I would like to explain the costs involved in the rent you pay and how it enables you to live a tension and hassle-free life. What is included in the rent that the tenant understands?
Bill of DTH (tata sky), WiFi, LPG Refilling, Electricity, and Water - these cover all the utility bills. We didn’t have upper limits earlier, but people were wasting resources by not switching off lights/geysers when not in use, or wasting water, etc. So, we now have reasonable caps on utility bills.
Maintenance - It’s not just the house that has to be maintained. Common areas like stairs, verandah, terrace, et al needs to be cleaned and looked after, and there is a cost to it. In societies it is given to the association, in independent houses, SimplyGuest bears it.
What are the hidden costs that tenants don’t understand?
Housekeeping - We take a long term view of the houses. To make sure our shared houses remain clean and livable, we provide housekeeping at least 2-3 times a week. Quality standards of cleaning are extremely subjective, so it’s difficult to standardize it, and hence we don’t charge tenants anything but make sure a standard house cleaning happens. This is a complimentary service to tenants, but SimplyGuest pays for it.
Sump & Tank Cleaning - Timely cleaning of sump and tank is also needed to make sure that there is no mosquito breeding and people live in a healthy environment. This is a required cost to be spent from time to time but cannot be explained to the tenant.
Garbage Collection - Garbage collection isn’t a free service. We pay a monthly fee to the BBMP garbage collectors. Most tenants don’t bifurcate the wet and dry waste; in spite of this we have to make sure the garbage gets picked up. We end up paying an extra amount to get this segregated. This is also a cost that people don’t understand, or take for granted.
Parking Cleaning - Parking areas require regular cleaning as well. If we leave it unattended they may breed mosquitoes, and attract rats, and will make the place unhygienic in general.
Equipment and appliances - Every house has some or the other equipment: Batteries, chimney, water motor, etc. These along with appliances require maintenance or repairs from time to time.
Ad-hoc service requests and Delivery - It takes a lot to turn a house into a home. When you start staying in a house there will be small issues related to electrical, plumbing, sanitary that keep coming. Most of these require immediate attention. Now, the cost of immediate service is always higher than a planned service. We make sure these issues are resolved within 24-48 hours. This is a cost nearly no one factors in.
A lot of this money is paid over a period of time and sometimes in parts. Majority of our tenants are first-time home renters and don’t know what all goes into making a house functional and running. They compare what is in front of them and ignore the non-visible parts.
When we say the rent is all-inclusive, this is what we mean.