Renting comes at a high price. Usually, there’s always more to pay for than just the monthly rent cost advertised.
It all depends on what bills your rent includes and what extras you want to pay for.
In this article, we'll give you an overview of what bills you have to pay when renting and what things you may need to save up for.
Do I Have to Pay Bills When Renting?
In short, yes, you have to pay bills when you’re renting.
Sometimes, your rent is all-inclusive, which means it includes some or all your bills. If your rent is all-inclusive, it usually includes things like your water and energy (also known as gas and electricity) bills and council tax.
Many landlords don’t provide all-inclusive rent as an option since it creates an administrative burden for them – particularly if you can’t pay and they are left to chase the debts.
Most of the time, you need to pay your bills separately and in addition to rent. It all depends on what your tenancy agreement stipulates you need to pay for alongside or in addition to rent.
What Bills Do I Have to Pay For When Renting?
Naturally, you need to pay rent if you’re renting. Most landlords require you to pay rent once a month, but you can sometimes pay rent every six months or on a different agreed schedule.
Depending on whether you are paying all-inclusive rent or not, your rent may or may not include utility bills, like water and energy use.
As a tenant, you need to pay your council tax. This is a tax that goes to the local authority in your area and is used to pay for many things, including looking after your roads and collecting bins.
Some councils have different exemptions that apply depending on your situation, like your age or if you have a disability. You can usually get a single person’s discount if you live by yourself, too.
Check with your local council to find out what exemptions you may be able to apply for.
Unless your landlord includes energy bills in the rent cost, you’ll need to pay for your gas and electricity usage. To find out how much these bills could be, ask the landlord or letting agent for estimates from previous tenants.
If your energy bills are in your name and not your landlords, you have more control over how much you pay. You can compare deals online or switch to a pre-paid meter to help you pay less. Plus, you may not need to pay for the admin fees associated with your landlord sorting this for you.
Make sure you check your tenancy agreement before switching to a pre-paid meter to see if your landlord allows it.
Water bills are paid directly to the local water provider. This usually needs to be paid monthly via direct debit. You can ask your letting agent or landlord for estimates of previous water bills to find out how much you may need to pay.
Reducing your usage can cut down the cost of your water bill. If the property has a water meter, you may be able to reduce the regular costs if you provide regular meter readings to your supplier, too.
While it’s not compulsory to pay for entertainment services, most of us couldn’t live without WI-FI or Netflix!
Depending on what you need, you may need to pay for an internet connection, a telephone line, a TV licence, and any other entertainment subscription bills on top of your rent.
Landlords may provide some of these services as part of their all-inclusive rent, like WI-FI or a telephone line, so check with them first.
Other Things Renters Need to Save or Pay For
Alongside paying rent and utility bills, you may need to save and pay for other things when you’re renting, including:
- Food shopping – Takeaways not included!
- Leisure activities – Like gym memberships or dinner with friends
- Furnishings – Some rentals are furnished, but you may still need to purchase some things for your home, like cooking utensils or bedsheets.
- Home insurance – Contents insurance can protect your possessions if they get damaged or stolen, including any expensive electronics you keep on the property.
- Deposit – If you plan on renting long-term, you’ll need to save up for a new landlord deposit before you move (unless you use a lifetime deposit that moves with you)
Remember, while you may be able to afford the rent and bills, you need to ensure you can afford all your other living costs, too.
How Fronted Can Help
At Fronted, we believe renting should be better. When moving in the private rental market, finding somewhere affordable, that won't break the bank can be tricky. That’s why we’ve created the first Lifetime Deposit - built with you in mind - to help fix some of the issues with renting in the UK.
Our painless set-up process makes getting a lifetime deposit quick and easy – with a handy app you can download to manage your deposit long-term.