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Who’s liable? All you need to know about utility bills throughout your tenancy

If you’ve recently moved into a property, or are due to move out soon, there’s one thing you should remember: as long as your name is on the tenancy, you are liable to pay for the property’s utility bills.

If you’re a customer of One Utility Bill, we will prompt you for meter readings at the start and end of your tenancy, just to help make the process a little easier. 

Generally, the following household bills are usually what tenants are responsible for, however, you should take a look at your tenancy agreement to check these aren’t included in your rent:

  • Water*
  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Council tax (If you’re a full-time student, you can apply to your local council tax authority for an exemption to pay)

*Currently living in Scotland? Water is already included in your council tax so you don’t need to worry about this! 

Broadband is also, usually, the tenants’ responsibility to arrange and set up – although, if you have broadband in your property, check the contractual term with your provider.

We get it, there’s a lot to think about when moving property, but understanding the period of when you’re liable to pay for the property’s utility bills is essential, as missed payments to a supplier can affect your credit rating. 

It’s usually in your tenancy agreement

Remember, a tenancy agreement is a contract between yourself and the landlord which certifies that you agree to a number of things – one of those is accepting full responsibility for utility bills until the tenancy end date.

What if my bills are included in my rent?

If your bills are included, then you will continue to pay your rent as normal until the end of your tenancy.

I’m moving out before the end of my tenancy agreement

Unfortunately, this makes no difference to the utility suppliers or your landlord. You are still obliged to pay until the end of your tenancy unless you have proof of being released from your tenancy early meaning you also aren’t paying rent to the original agreed end date. Council’s sometimes offer a slightly cheaper rate for properties that are standing empty – so it may be worth contacting you local authority to find out more.

My house has multiple occupants, who is responsible?

If you are living with a number of others, the responsibility to pay the bill ultimately comes down to whose name is on the account. But, no one wants to leave their friends out of pocket!

What happens if I don’t pay?

If you don’t pay your bills until the end of your tenancy, your landlord may pass your contact details on to suppliers. Your landlord will not pay these bills as long as they fall within your tenancy period, so anything left unpaid will remain as debt within your name which may affect your credit rating.

Always ensure meter readings are taken on the start and end date of your tenancy to have evidence of your usage throughout the length of your tenancy. For further information, please speak directly with your letting agent or landlord.


If you’re looking to have peace of mind when taking care of your bills why not simplify your bills into one monthly payment bundle and easily split your bills between housemates? Get a quick quote today.

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