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How to set up bills for a student house

If you’re moving into a student property with a ‘bills exclusive’ tenancy, this will likely be the first time you’ve ever had to set your own bills up, and the prospect of that can be more than a little bit daunting.

However, as we rent out student houses at Pickard Properties in Leeds with both bills inclusive and bills exclusive tenancies, we have a wealth of knowledge about household bills that we’d like to share with you in today’s blog article.

Before we dive into setting your bills up, let’s begin with why you might opt for a bills exclusive rent package over a bills inclusive one.

Why opt for a ‘bills exclusive’ student tenancy?

We wrote a whole blog post on this topic, entitled ‘The benefits of bills exclusive student living; however, we’ll outline the main points for you here.

By choosing to arrange your own bills, you are entirely in control of your utility bills — the suppliers you use and, therefore, how much you pay.

You can shop around to find the best deals so it can work out cheaper for you than a bills inclusive package — leaving you extra money in the bank for unforgettable nights out with your mates.

Arranging your own utility bills can also be a helpful practice for when you finish university and move into a professional rental property; most graduates will be clueless about arranging their own bills, whereas you’ll have the upper hand, having been through it before.

How to get started with your household bills

If you move into a Pickard Properties student house with a bills exclusive tenancy package, we will provide you with an advice sheet that lists the current utility suppliers for the property and how you can contact them to notify them of your tenancy.

It is important to note here that you are responsible for the property’s bills from the start date of your tenancy up until the end date of your tenancy, regardless of when you move in or out of the property.

Take a photo of the utility meters on day one to ensure your suppliers only charge you for the energy you have used.

How to find the best deals for student bills

A hand holding a glass under a tap, to fill a glass with water.

The current suppliers may not necessarily be the cheapest as prices are constantly in flux and new customers are often offered the best deals, so you may decide to shop around for the best price.

If you wish to do that, you can use the advice sheet to understand which utilities you require for your student house — for example, your home may use gas and electricity or just electricity.

Once you have arranged your new suppliers, set yourselves a reminder to do another price comparison when your renewal date approaches.

Energy (electricity and gas)

There are many price comparison sites to explore for energy deals, so sit down with your housemates and spend time getting a range of quotes.

Gas and electricity tend to be the most expensive household bills, so don’t be afraid to spend a decent chunk of time on this task as it will certainly be worth it in the long run.

Popular energy price comparison sites include Moneysupermarket.com, Comparethemarket.com, and Uswitch.com.

Make sure to look out for fixed-rate tariffs too, so you don’t get any nasty surprises further down the line.

Water

You can’t shop around for the best water deal as there is only one water supplier per area; if you move into a Pickard Properties home, Yorkshire Water will be your supplier.

Broadband

Decide on your desired speed and contract length before you get started. If you want to sign up for a digital TV service, you might find it cheapest to bundle broadband and TV together, so keep that in mind when comparing prices, too.

For broadband price comparisons, take a look at GoCompare.com and Usave.co.uk.

TV licence

Most students require a TV licence by law. You can check here for up-to-date information from TV Licensing, and we wrote a blog post about TV licences in house shares.

If you only plan to live in your house share for, for example, nine months of the year, you can often make a claim back from TV Licensing for 25 percent of your licence fee once you have moved out for the final time.

Council Tax

Full-time students are exempt from paying Council Tax.

You can contact Leeds City Council to apply for an exemption.

Contents insurance

Contents insurance is optional but highly recommended to protect your belongings when living in your student house.

You can discover some of the best student contents insurance providers in this Save the Student article.

Extras

Extras might include TV or music streaming services. Check for student offers, as you can often get a reduced rate.

How to organise the bills in a student house share

A hand using a heating thermostat on a white wall.

Don’t put all of the household bills in just one person’s name; choose a different person for each bill to share the responsibility out, and add multiple names where possible.

Once all of your bills are set up, you need to decide how you will pay them as a group.

Of course, one of you could take ownership and, when the bills arrive, manually split them and let everyone know what they owe.

However, that method can be disastrous; for one thing, one person is tasked with putting all the effort in.

Secondly, there’s always one unreliable housemate who forgets to transfer you the money — then you have to chase them up about it, and it can end up putting a strain on your relationship.

Thirdly, not everyone will have the money available to pay bills instantly.

So, you might like to utilise a free bill-splitting app instead, combined with everyone putting a set amount of money away for bills per month. Start with £45 and alter it as time goes on, if required.

There are many bill-splitting apps to choose from, all of which work similarly. You and your housemates all download the app, and then you can easily organise bills within the app via automatic alerts and reminders — removing all money-related awkwardness in your house share!

Avoid paid bill-splitting services; these are costly and unnecessary.

How much do bills cost in a student house?

You might be wondering how much bills cost per month for students. This is very subjective and depends on your utility providers, where you live, how many people live in your house, and so on.

Overall, it tends to be the case that the more housemates in a house share, the higher the bills, but the less the bills cost per person.

Final thoughts

If you have any questions about bills exclusive student tenancy packages, get in touch today — we’re always happy to help.

If you don’t fancy arranging your own bills, then we offer a bills inclusive package on all of our student properties with three or more bedrooms.

Bills inclusive means you pay one monthly fee which includes your rent, electricity, gas, and water — however much you use — and contents insurance. The ‘Love it!’ package also includes your TV licence.

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