Living in a shared house isn’t all fun and games. Maybe for the first time, you’ll have to take responsibility for paying the bills. But don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds! With our guide to sorting out your bills for things like your gas, electricity, TV licence and water, you’ll always be one step ahead.

Before you start, here are some bill-paying tips to keep in mind:

Put everyone’s name down on the bills, so this creates a shared responsibility (it’s also good if you ever need to provide proof of address). Alternatively, split the bills, so one person is responsible for gas, one for water and so on, then make sure you give them the money when it’s due!

Consider opening a house account for the bills. At Glide UK, you can create a shared account, which splits the bills evenly between you and your housemates, with one single monthly payment.

So, here goes!

Gas & electricity

Contact your provider with a meter reading when you move in, and when you move out, to avoid being over-charged.

You could save money by switching energy supplier, so make sure you’re getting the best deal, and do your research!

Useful numbers & websites

The Citizens’ Advice Bureau has plenty of helpful info about energy suppliers

Take a look at Money Saving Expert for advice on how to choose the best supplier and deal.

 

Water

Two ways you can have your water:

  • Fixed rate – you pay a set amount per month and get unlimited water
  • Water meter – you only pay for the water that you use

Top tips

Avoid leaving taps running when brushing your teeth or washing up.

Check your pipes for unknown leaks that could be costing you money!

Useful numbers & websites

Have a look at Water Guides for more info about local suppliers and to find the water coverage in your area.

Council tax

Good news! If you and your housemates are in full-time education, you don’t have to pay council tax. Pick up an exemption form from your local council (or you may be able to get one from your uni website).

Useful numbers & websites

For more info about students & council tax, have a look at the NUS’s council tax page.

Internet, phone & TV

Absolutely vital for studying, staying in touch and catching up on daytime TV. Choose a provider that offers bundles (TV, phone and internet as a package). These will save you money and mean that you only have one bill to pay, not three!

Useful numbers & websites

Find the best deal on your internet by using a price comparison site. Broadband for Students is specifically targeted at… er, students.

 

Contents insurance

Your parents’ insurance won’t cover your belongings when you’re at uni, so make sure you get those laptops, tablets, phones and iPods insured.

Useful numbers & websites

Endsleigh are the recommended insurance provider by the NUS. Visit their site and get your gear covered.

TV licence

Did you know that everyone who watches (or records) TV as it is broadcast needs to have a TV licence? This includes if you’re watching TV on your computer, tablet or phone. You’ll need a licence if you’re streaming live content on your computer, but it is not required if you are only watching pre-recorded programmes (e.g if you’re catching up on BBC iPlayer).

You can also claim back some money if your licence is unused for 3 months, and since university accommodation contracts typically last 39 weeks, this means that you could be eligible!

A TV licence will cost you £145.50 (one year), but you could be fined up to £1000 (plus legal costs) if you are caught without one.

Useful numbers & websites

To buy a TV licence or find out more information, call TV Licensing on 0300 790 6071 or visit http://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/.

Other useful numbers

NHS Direct – currently being replaced by the NHS 111 service. Call 111 for out of hours, non-emergency assistance. Check which service is available in your area here.

The Samaritans – 08457 90 90 90

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