Advice for Tenants Regarding Utilities

Do you offer rental agreements which include gas, electricity and water bills as part of the rent?

We have decided against offering this type of package because we believe it to offer students poor value for money. Rental agreements of this kind will often result in increased costs as a consequence of being charged a fixed amount, regardless of your actual usage.

On average agents offering this type of agreement will add a further £12-£14 per week to the cost of the rent to cover gas, electricity and water usage. Detailed research has found that a typical student will in fact only spend an average of £5-£7 per week. With full control over your own energy usage and bills we would estimate that a group of 6 could save approximately £250 per person each year.

What should I take into consideration when budgeting for bills?

Your energy bills, that being electricity, water and gas, are the three main bills that you will need to budget for. In addition to that you will require a TV licence and may want to consider any broadband or TV packages you intend to use.

How do I go about setting up utility services when I move in?

On the day that you move into the property you should take a reading of the electricity, gas and water meters. To do this you may require a large plastic meter box key in order to gain access to gas and electricity meters which are located outside of the property. In some instances the property may not have a water meter and you will be billed a set amount dependent on the location and size of your property.

On average students with water meters will pay around £1 per person per week. This charge will cover the actual amount of water you use, as well as a standing charge. If you have a problem finding your meters, or taking a reading, do not hesitate to contact our support team who are always on hand to offer advice. When setting up your energy bills we would recommend having the names of every housemate on the account to ensure you are all equally responsible for payment.

Can we choose our own energy supplier?

Absolutely, we actively encourage our tenants to shop around in order to secure the best possible deal. All we ask is that you let us know of any changes to supplier that you make.

We have received a larger than expected bill, what should we do?

In many cases your bill will not be based on actual usage and instead energy companies will calculate your bill on estimated usage figures. Your bill should tell you if it has been accessed by a meter reader or is based on estimated usage figures.

If it is based on estimated figures we would suggest you check the meter for yourself and telephone the number on your bill to provide your supplier with an actual reading. They will then recalculate your usage and send you an updated bill.

If your bill is based on actual readings you may want to reconsider how you are using energy. You could make savings by:

  • Switching off lights as you leave the room
  • Not setting the heating higher than necessary
  • Switching off your computer when it is not in use
  • Unplugging phone and laptop chargers
  • Not leaving appliances on standby
  • Not leaving taps running whilst you brush your teeth
  • Not boiling more water in the kettle than your require.

How do we ensure that our bills are up to date when it comes to leaving the property?

The last person to leave the property should take final meter readings for gas, electricity and water. These readings should then be phoned through to the relevant supplier and you will be asked to provide a forwarding address for the final bills to be sent to. We would always advise that tenants request a final receipt from their provider as proof that all outstanding utility bills have been settled.

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