Tutto incluso. “All-inclusive.”
What a difference these two words make in a housing listing. Having the costs of water, gas, electricity—and in certain otherworldly apartments, WiFi—factored in to a flat’s monthly rate is usually a rich-landlord ruse. Still, it’s one many of us would happily tolerate. Costs as a tenant in a tutto incluso system can be higher, but it’s a small tradeoff for the ease of no post office legwork, no meter-reading, no calls from utility companies. Knowing precisely what’s in your pocket each month? Priceless.
But in Florence, we run into a real estate variation on one infamous Orwell theme: “All tutto incluso rents include ‘everything’, but some include more ‘everything’ than others.” I’m reminded of a friend who was wooed by a listing for a furnished apartment with tutto incluso tacked on at the end. Upon visiting, she discovered tutto incluso just meant the pictured furniture was part of the deal.
Never trust an ad with no bullet-points of bills under the tutto umbrella.
The very existence of tutto incluso setups can also cause confusion for negligent landlords. My “takeover tenant” (see RD vol. 8) is in a space where nothing is incluso, yet all utilities remain in the owner’s name; she assumed it was a convenience-based decision on his part. Cluelessness is the more probable explanation. By all appearances, he seems to think they set a tutto incluso rate, though the flat’s base rent remains fixed as it ever was. Someone—we’re not sure who—has been paying the takeover tenant’s bills over the past year and a half, since no power outages nor heating halts have transpired. All signs point to bad math or a property manager gone rogue, but I guess we’ll never really know tutto.
Read all Rental Diaries columns by Mary Gray here.