What bills am I responsible for?

In most cases, tenants are usually responsible for rent payments and all utilities like water, electricity, council tax, gas, broadband, and TV license.

In most cases, tenants are usually responsible for rent payments and all utilities like water, electricity, council tax, gas, broadband, and TV license. However, some landlords may include some or all of these utility costs into the rent. This information is usually available on the listing, however, your AST should clearly detail which bills you are responsible for. You can also ask the owner directly through the PropertyLoop platform for confirmation.


Council Tax
You’ll most likely be responsible for paying Council Tax to your local council. The amount you pay depends on the banding of your property and your local council. If you're a full-time student, you might be exempt from paying Council Tax. You can also get a 25% discount if you live alone. Check with your local council  if you're eligible for a discount.

Gas and electricity 
When you live in a rental property, you might be required to pay the gas and electricity bills. But in some cases, the energy bills might be in your landlord’s name.  If you’re not sure who's responsible, check your tenancy agreement. If you pay your energy supplier directly, you have the right to find a cheaper deal and switch suppliers. Find gas and electricity deals on Uswitch. Comparison sites like this will show you how much you can save by moving to a new supplier.

You might be responsible for paying the water bill as a tenant, or your landlord might've wrapped it up as part of your rent. If you’re not sure, check your tenancy agreement. If it's your responsibility, find out which water company supplies your area. With water bills, you can't shop around to find a better deal. Water providers are based on geographical area. You'll either be on a provider's standard tariff or you'll have a water meter. With a meter, you only get charged for the amount of water you use.

Phone and broadband
As a tenant, you’ll need to pay for the phone line and broadband. You can choose not to have a landline. Most people just use their mobile phones these days, so you might not need one. Find out what internet speed, coverage and deals you can get with Uswitch's broadband postcode checker. Bundling your broadband into a package with your TV and phone could also work out cheaper than paying for each service separately.

TV licence
As a tenant, it's your responsibility to pay for a TV licence. You need a TV licence if you intend to watch or record live TV broadcasts on any channel. You still need one if you want to download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer (including catch-up and on-demand). A TV licence costs £159. You can face a fine of up to £1,000 if you watch TV without a licence. Apply or renew your TV licence on tvlicensing.co.uk.

Contents insurance
Contents insurance covers everything you could imagine falling out of your home if you turned it upside down. This includes gadgets, furniture, carpets, curtains, clothes and jewellery. It’s important to organise contents cover as soon as you move into a new property to ensure you’re protected right away. Contents insurance is usually fairly cheap. It's still a good idea to shop around for contents insurance deals on sites like Uswitch. Make sure you accurately value the things you own when you take out the insurance. If you underestimate it, you could end up seriously out of pocket if you need to make a claim.