What bills do you pay when renting? Who’s responsible for what? Let’s take a closer look so you can get a better handle on your finances.
What bills do you have to pay when renting?
Outside of rent, what other bills can you expect to pay as a tenant?
- Gas & electricity
- Council tax
- TV licence
- Contents insurance
- Other service charges
#1 – Gas & electricity
In most cases, you’re required to pay energy bills (gas and electricity) on top of rent. However, sometimes, they’re in your landlord’s name and included in the rent.
To find out who’s responsible for what, check your tenancy agreement; it should be clearly outlined.
Bear in mind that if it’s your responsibility to pay for energy bills, you have the legal right to switch, even if you’re renting. Switching energy suppliers could help you save money each month, putting more in your pocket. Get started below!
#2 – Council tax
Unless you’re a full-time student, you’ll be required to pay council tax. How much depends on:
- Where you live
- Your banding
- The property itself
- How many people you live with
- Your local authority
You might be eligible for a reduction, for example if you live alone, you’ll get a 25% discount.
#3 – Water
Your landlord may include the water bill as part of your rent, or it might be in your own name. Again, always check your tenancy agreement.
Unlike energy suppliers, you cannot ‘shop around’ to find a lower water bill, your supplier will depend on your area. You’ll either be on your provider’s standard tariff, or you’ll have a meter (meaning you’re only charged for what you use).
#4 – TV licence
It’s not your landlord’s responsibility to provide you with a TV licence, you’ll need to arrange this. The maximum penalty for watching telly without one is £1,000.
#5 – Contents insurance
You won’t be responsible for buildings insurance; the landlord will be, as they own the property. While you should inform your landlord of any issues with the property (such as structural damage) buildings insurance will be paid by them – not you.
However, this will not cover your belongings. Contents insurance is for your ‘stuff’ e.g. electronics, jewellery etc. This may seem like an unnecessary expense, but you can shop around to find a good deal, and get peace of mind your items are protected. Get insurance quotes below.
#6 – Broadband
Unless your tenancy agreement states that broadband is included, chances are it will be your responsibility to pay for this.
Always read the small print when choosing a supplier. You might think you’ve found an ultra-cheap deal, but there might be high installation fees and hidden charges to contend with.
Top tips for paying bills when renting
- Set up direct debits to make sure you don’t forget to pay bills and make life easier
- Use bill splitting methods (e.g. apps) if living with multiple people
- Always pay your bills on time
- Budget outgoings (don’t just factor in rent, but other outgoings e.g. hobbies)
- Don’t forget to shop around for the best energy deals
Last Updated: September 15th, 2021