Before you start renting, it’s important to consider all the additional expenses that you may need to account for on top of your rent. Read on to discover what bills you pay when renting out a room or a property.

Does rent include bills?

Unless stated otherwise, you’ll have to pay for your own bills separately from your rent. This is because all the bills will be under your name and based on your monthly usage, which your landlord will not be able to predict in advance.

However, some landlords will accept a lump payment for both bills and rent. This will be specified in your letting agreement and is something you must discuss beforehand. This is far more likely to be the case if you are a lodger with a live-in landlord as they’ll have a household account set up in their name.

It’s also very common in student housing for bills to be included so make sure you read over your contract before you sign it.

There are pros and cons to both sides of the coin. Paying your own bills offers you more control over your finances and you can ensure that the amount you’re paying reflects your actual usage.

It does, however, mean that you’ll have to be careful when budgeting and ensure you stay on top of it all. On the flipside, having bills included in rent means less budgeting and organisation, but could lead to you paying premium prices as the cost will be estimated by your landlord.

What bills do you have to pay when renting?

The bills you can expect to pay when renting include:

  • Contents insurance – this is usually not paid by your landlord as it protects your personal belongings. This bill will be paid monthly or annually.
  • Personal subscriptions – Sky TV, Netflix, mobile phone bill etc.
  • TV licence – you can usually choose between a monthly and annual payment.
  • Council Tax – this is typically paid monthly.
  • Landline phone and Wi-Fi – usually paid monthly.
  • Gas and electricity – there are a couple of options here, such as a pre-paid meter or a monthly Direct Debit.
  • Water – this depends on your water company, with some billing quarterly and others monthly.

It’s always wise to check what is included in your rent as your landlord may cover more than you realise. Paying your bills on time is important as it’ll affect your credit score if you find yourself missing multiple payments.

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