One of the best things about uni, is sharing a house with your friends. Cooking, partying, and binge watching your way through series together is what dreams are made of. But, sometimes the adult stuff can get in the way and create issues when it comes to splitting and paying utility bills. To avoid awkward household arguments, you should organise your bills as soon as you move in and decide on a fair way to split and pay the utility costs. To help you get around those fallouts with your housemates, here is some top advice on student housing bills so that you can focus on the good times:
Calculate your monthly rent
The biggest cost when it comes to student housing is going to be your rent. If you are sharing a house with other students, you need to check the terms of the tenancy agreement carefully before moving in. Some landlords will have separate agreements with each tenant and charge a monthly fee for each room. Whereas other landlords may charge a flat rate for the entire house. For example, the total rent of a student house may be £1,200 per month. If three students are living in the house, then the rent would be £400 each. Don’t forget, you’ll need to consider things such as room size when deciding how to split the rent cost. If one room is much larger and has an en-suite, then you may decide that the person staying in that room should pay more for the rent – after all, they’ve obviously got the best room!
The easiest way to ensure that rent is not missed is by setting up a direct debit so the rent automatically transfers to the landlord on the agreed date each month. You also need to read the terms of the contract carefully to check what legal requirements apply. In particular, you should check whether you will be liable to cover the cost if another housemate misses their rent payment or moves out unexpectedly. This will help you avoid any issues or unexpected bills later down the line.
Check what utilities you need to pay
Most student houses require the following utilities: gas, electricity, water, TV licence, and broadband. Make sure you check whether your student house uses gas, electricity, or a combination of both. You should take accurate meter readings as soon as you move in to avoid paying for energy or water used by the previous tenants – nobody likes to pay for something they haven’t used. You should then submit regular meter readings to your energy provider every 2 to 3 months. You can contact your landlord or letting agent or even your utility provide for advice if you struggle to find your meters or cannot take an accurate reading. Make sure you take the time to check what utilities you require and what bills you will be responsible for paying each month.
Set up a monthly direct debit
Setting up a monthly direct debit is one of the easiest ways to avoid late rent or utility payments. It is a good idea to set up a shared account where each housemate can transfer their money for housing bills each month. One housemate can be nominated to be responsible for ensuring that the bills are paid to the energy provider, landlord, etc each month. You can make the process of paying student bills far easier by using our handy bill splitting app. Our app makes it far easier for students to manage the bills as it ensures that utility costs are split fairly between you and your housemates. Everyone will know how much they are required to pay each month in advance, and you can arrange for the money to be taken automatically each month.
Apply for student contents insurance
Taking out student contents insurance may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it is an essential step to protect your valuables such as your laptop, phone, and course equipment. Recent research shows that student houses have a 16 percent higher chance of being broken into. Criminals often target students, so be sure to take steps to protect your valuables. Having insurance will ensure that you are covered if your valuables are lost, stolen, or damaged.
Managing student bills can be a daunting task, especially if it’s the first time you have been responsible for paying housing costs. Adulthood might seem overwhelming, luckily, some simple planning will help you organise your bills and stay on top of your finances. Use the above suggestions to help you calculate your monthly student outgoings and ensure that household bills are split fairly. This will prevent unnecessary stress and avoid household fallouts over the splitting and payment of bills.