Moving into a student house can be one of the most exciting uni experiences, but it can also be one of the most daunting. You’ll be faced with boring adult tasks like splitting the chores and sorting out the bills – things that, let’s be real, no one really wants to do.
Setting up your bills need to be sorted as quickly as possible – preferably, before you sign the contract – so that you can all live a stress-free student life in your new home.
Ideally, you’ll need a system where everyone knows how much they should contribute, preventing any future disagreements. Here’s some useful tips to ensure that the bills are split fairly and easily.
Decide how to split the rent
When you move in, you’ll need to know who is on the tenancy agreement. Some landlords will charge you separately i.e. £400 per month for a room, so you and your housemates will already know how much they owe in rent each month. But if your landlord rents out the house as a whole, then you’ll have to work out how much everyone needs to pay each month. The simplest way to do this is to divide the total rental cost by the number of people, so, an example, £1,500 divided by four would be £375 each per month.
As much as we’d like it to be, it just isn’t always that easy. For example, one person may have a larger bedroom with an ensuite while another person may be sharing a room with their boyfriend/girlfriend. In this situation, it may be best to agree different amounts of rent for each room. Whatever you decide, you must all sit down and agree how you are going to split the rent, so that everyone is aware of how much they will need to pay. You’ll also need to check what would happen if someone leaves suddenly, or is unable to pay the rent, as the rest of you may be responsible for these costs – something no of you would want to deal with.
Calculate your monthly utility bills
The next biggest expense will likely be your utility bills, so gas, electricity, water, and the most important one, WI-FI. Ideally, you should have the money chat before you sign for your new house, so you’ll have a rough idea of how much bills will cost. Also, find out what providers are currently being used and get in touch, so that they’re aware of when you and your housemates will be moving in. You should also do a meter reading when you move in – don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds.
When doing meter readings, don’t forget to take photographs. The last thing you want is to be charged for any energy or water used by previous tenants.
Decide how to split the utility bills
The easiest way to split the utility bills is usually to divide them by the number of people living in your home. But this may lead to arguments if, someone’s mates stay over a lot, or another spends a lot of time at home and uses more energy (there’s usually one). The most important thing is to discuss bill payments openly with your housemates. That way, everyone knows how much they will need to cover the bills each month, and you can all enjoy uni life without any of the budgeting stress.
Use a bill splitting app
A bill splitting app is an awesome way to make sure bills are divided fairly. This makes it so much easier to manage your bills, and it should help to reduce the risk of late payments, as everyone will know how much they need to pay, and when.
Mismanagement of student bills could lead to disagreements and can create huge amounts of tension between you and your housemates. When you and your friends decide on your new home, you should talk about who should pay which bills, and how much. Luckily, you can avoid falling out over bills by ensuring that they are split fairly. Above are a few ideas to help you manage your bills easily and fairly, so you can focus on making the most of your uni experience, without having to worry about sorting out next month’s payments.