Why Do Landlords Include Utilities in Rent? Evidence from the 2000 Housing Discrimination Study (HDS) and the 2002 American Housing Survey (AHS)
This study assesses the decision to include utilities in the rent and the effect of this decision on rents. We utilize individual house-level data from the 2000 Housing Discrimination Study (HDS) and 2002 American Housing Survey (AHS), and determine that the cost of meter installation is not the only reason that utility costs are included in rent. We find evidence that landlords include utilities in the rent to attract more customers. Additionally, our findings demonstrate that utility inclusion behavior differs significantly between old and new building owners. For the hedonic rent estimation, we find that the decision to include the cost of utilities in the rent raises rent.
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