Our area's rental market for single family homes is VERY HOT! Rental prospects are actually OUT BIDDING each other for desirable homes * 4 bedrooms w/2-car garages in GOOD school districts.
If they want a 2-year lease, I am NOT discounting the rental rate; however, I will keep the rent at the CURRENT quoted rental rate for 2 years.
I am collecting their check for the first FULL month's rent and the security deposit BEFORE I write the lease and I'm NOT making deals to collect security deposits over a couple of months.
.....so when they ask me for utility costs, that is a RED FLAG that they can not pay the quoted current rent and are concerned for their costs and budget. If they are so concerned about the utility costs, they need to find another rental home that is BELOW THEIR RENTAL PRICE RANGE.
Utility costs are VERY subjective. They depend on the size of the family * if they are home during the day * if they are conscientious about keeping their thermostat 2 degrees off their comfort zone....loads of variables so when a rental prospect asks me or wants to call the residents to discuss these costs, I say NEXT!