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Bills are something that you may not think about until you move into a property and even then you may not be fully aware of exactly what bills you are responsible for. Some tenancy agreements will stipulate that rent is inclusive of bills and others will bestow that responsibility on the tenants. You should check you contract to ensure that you understand fully who is responsible for this. If your contract does note that bills are inclusive, then you should also be sure to confirm if there is a fair usage with regards to Gas and Electric as you don’t want to be surprised with a large bill at a later stage.

Gas and Electric

Meter readings – the current utility providers may not have the most up-to-date meter readings for the property and therefore you should make a note of these and send them to the providers as soon as possible to ensure that you are only charged for the usage from the beginning of your tenancy. This could be several tens of points difference from what it should be, if not more!

Affording your bills - With regards to budgeting for these utilities each month, you should consider that you will likely use far more gas and electric in the Autumn and Winter months due to colder temperatures and less daylight hours. You should expect the bills to increase in these months and may want to budget accordingly. You may find a cheaper supplier which can save you money, but you will need to seek permission from the landlord before changing. So, there is nothing stopping you from shopping around to see if you can get cheaper deals and if you present this to your landlord, they may consider this a reasonable request to change.  

TV Licence

You need to be covered by a TV licence to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer. This could be on any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console or digital box. If you do any of the above without a valid licence, you risk prosecution and a maximum penalty of up to £1,000, plus any legal costs and/or compensation you may be ordered to pay. You will also still have to buy a TV licence if you need one. The quickest way to purchase a TV licence is online. Visit to find all the information you need to know about purchasing a licence and the requirements of having one.

Bills to be aware of:

  • Gas
  • Electric
  • Rates (if these aren’t included in your tenancy)
  • TV, Internet and Broadband
  • Home contents insurance
  • TV licence

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