Unless included in your contract, you are responsible for all utility bills for the duration of your tenancy and will need to budget for this.
When you move in, inform the utility companies of your moving in date and provide a meeting reading so that you don’t end up footing the bill for the previous residents. If you are unsure who your utility companies are, ask your landlord/letting agent. Remember to put all tenants’ names on the bills, so that everyone is equally liable.
Tip: why not set up a joint bank account for all your house bills? Agree on a fair and equal amount to contribute to the account and when this money will go in. Then all bills can be paid directly from the joint account instead of from one person’s bank account.
Welsh Water/ Dwr Cymru is the main provider of water for Wales. Students are billed from the date their tenancy starts. For example, if you sign your tenancy contract from 1st July, they will bill you from 1st July until the date your tenancy contract ends. You will still need to pay throughout the summer even if you aren’t living there, unless agreed with your landlord or letting agent.
If you live in a metered property, you will be billed based on the water you use every six months. Welsh Water will visit your property to take a reading. Some properties have the meter on the outside, but if an engineer asks to take a meter reading inside the property, be sure to check for ID first. If they are unable to read the meter, they’ll send an estimated bill.
If you live in an unmetered property, you will be billed from the date your tenancy starts until 31st March. From 1st April, water rates are revised and a new bill will be issued. You will be responsible for this until the end of the year, or until you move out. You can inform Welsh Water/ Dwr Cymru of your moving out date 2 weeks in advance via their website.
Create and manage an account for your water bills online at www.dwrcymru.com or contact 0800 052 0145.
When you move into your new home, you will need to contact your gas and electricity suppliers with a meter reading to ensure you are not billed for the usage of previous tenants. Your landlord or letting agent can let you know who your suppliers are.
If gas and electricity is not included in your rent you can change supplier, which could save you money, or you could choose an environmentally friendly company. There are many different companies out there with different rates.
Broadband is often very important in student life! Providers often bundle a broadband deal with an offer of television and a landline phone. When you move in, think about your requirements, both individually and as part of your house group. Talk to your housemates about what package you would like and shop around before signing up as there are lots of options out there.
To ensure you don’t get charged for unnecessary damage, use existing broadband and TV installations to prevent new holes being drilled into the walls for cables. However, if you do want to install new products, ask for the landlords’ permission first and get this in writing.
Depending on the television services you use, you may need to buy a licence.
The law says you need to be covered by a TV Licence to:
• watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV, on any channel
• watch or stream programmes live on an online TV service (such as ITV Hub, All 4, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video, Now TV, Sky Go, etc.)
• download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer. This applies to any device you use, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder.
If your house is on a joint tenancy then you only need to get one licence. Individual licences are only needed with individual tenancies. For more information and to buy your TV licence online visit www.tvlicensing.co.uk