Finding your new home is super exciting, but there’s lots to think about before you even make an offer on a property. One of the things that should be on the top of your checklist is whether or not bills are included with the rent.
Getting an answer from the letting agent or landlord is pretty straightforward in regards to bills. And sometimes the listing will even say if utilities are included. Even so, it’s important to have a good idea about the type of bills you may or may not need to pay for separately.
So if you’re wondering if bills are included in rent and which utilities you might have to pay for, you’re in luck. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about paying bills when you rent your next home.
Are bills included in my rental payments?
The short answer is “maybe”. It’s entirely up to the landlord whether or not they include bills in the monthly rental figure, and you’ll often see a “bills included” section on the property listing. However, the majority of private landlords don’t tend to include monthly utilities in the rent, so it isn’t something you should expect.
If you’re renting in a co-living development, there’s a higher chance that some bills will be included. It’s becoming an increasing theme, with more build-to-rent landlords incorporating some utilities (such as broadband) in the monthly rent.
Pros and cons of having bills included in your rent
While having bills included in your rent might sound like a no-brainer, everyone's circumstances are unique. For some, the inclusion of bills is the ideal scenario. Others, however, may prefer to manage them separately.
Having your bills included in the rent obviously makes it easier to budget. You only need to think about one figure that comes out on the same date each month. It can be easy to forget the odd bill here and there when there are so many due.
Even if you have direct debits, keeping on track of everything is a task in itself. So it certainly helps if all bills are included in your rent. You also don’t need to search through comparison websites looking for the best deals, nor will you need to sign any long-term contracts.
There are definitely lots of benefits to having bills included. But the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, as they say. Monthly rental inclusive of bills will likely come at a premium. You also need to trust that the landlord is charging you the correct amount.
For example, they might use a specific supplier for energy, but there are cheaper options out there which the landlord is unaware of. If you lead a busy lifestyle, inclusive bills might not work for you either.
If you get up early, grab breakfast on the go and then work until late every day, there’s a good chance that you won’t use the utilities in your home that much. If this is the case, you could be paying higher amounts for inclusive bills than if you paid for them separately.
Paying your bills
Whether or not bills are included in your rent, it’s worth knowing the different types of payments you might need to make each month while also going through a rental checklist so that everything is in order.
Mandatory payment includes:
- Council tax - this is a sum collected by the local council and used to pay for services in the community. The amount depends on the size of your home and which council it falls under.
- Gas and electricity - you pay for gas and electricity to run parts of your home, such as lighting and heating.
- Water - the water bill is for the hot water that you use in your home, and can be paid monthly or annually.
On top of bills that you’re required to pay, there are other monthly costs which are optional. These include:
- Internet connection - while broadband might be optional, the overwhelming majority of households have an internet connection. In fact, 90% of UK households have an active broadband connection.
- TV License - this is what you pay to watch the BBC legally. You need a TV license if you watch any content on a TV, laptop, smartphone or tablet.
- Contents insurance - you should cover the contents of your home against any damage or theft.
Most properties on the rental market don’t include bills in the rent, and you’ll be limiting your options if you only look for homes where everything is included in the rental price. However, everyone’s circumstances are different. Fortunately, you can use the Movebubble app to look exclusively for homes that include bills if that’s a significant search requirement for your needs. It’s good to have options. And these days, renters have more options than ever.