This page explains what utility bills are and who is responsible for paying them.
Responsibility for bills
The tenant, as the occupier of the accommodation, must pay for the fuel and water used. You may pay the bills yourself, or the cost of fuel and water may be included in the rent so that the landlord can pay the bills.
If you are responsible for paying for gas or electricity bills, you also have the right to choose the energy supplier.
These are bills for things like gas, electricity and water. Sometimes these are included in the rent : check your tenancy agreement carefully. If you are not sure, ask the landlord/agent whether bills are included. If the bills are not included in the rent then they will need to be paid separately, on top of the rent.
Usually in shared accommodation you all agree between you to pay an equal share of the bills. However, this can get complicated. Some utility suppliers will only put a contract in one name. This means that one person has made a contract with the supplier and they are responsible for the bill. If the others don’t pay their share, the person named on the contract still has to pay the supplier. Even if you move out , you could still be pursued for the bill by the supplier.
It is very important to tell your utility suppliers when you move in and move out of a property, and to give them a meter reading when you do. This will help to make sure that you don’t have to pay for utilities used by a previous tenant or after you move out. Even if someone else’s name is on the contract, utility suppliers have rules which allow them to hold any adult living in the property responsible for the bill. So if the person with the utility contract moves out, this does not mean that nobody has to pay the bill.
If you would like further advice, speak to the Advice Service. We are impartial and here to advise in your best interests. To book a confidential telephone appointment with a professional adviser, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, telephone Student Support on 01522 837080, or visit the Information Hub on the ground floor of the Atrium in the Minerva Building