Soon-to-be landlord - Should I include all bills in rent?

Hi there.
I’ll soon be renting my 2-bed flat for between 6-12 months (although this could theoretically change while I’m away.)
Re. Utilities bills, council tax, landline etc - It’s much easier for me if I keep everything in my name and include all bills in the rent. However I’m wary that my tenants might take advantage of this and I’ll end up with huge bills to pay. If anyone has advice on this I’d be really grateful to hear it! Many thanks!

Hi Rob,

Hopefully some other landlords will also share their experience on this.

Most tenants will continue to use utilities as normal - but if you’re worried about excessive usage, you could agree a fair usage amount with the tenants, so that you don’t risk getting faced with higher bills.

Most tenants won’t use a landline, so you could ask them not to use this. With internet it might make sense to go for an unlimited usage package with your provider.

The only other thing to mention is that for your tenants to be on the electoral register the council tax might need to be in their name. I’d suggest you check this with your local authority to make sure they’re happy with your setup.

Best of luck with the rental!


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Thanks very much for responding, Simon. That all makes sense. I think I’ll probably change names on council tax and utilities bills, and agree fair usage on everything else.
All the best,


I’m in exactly the same position. Have just put my flat for advertisment today ready for August when I’m going to work abroad for a year. I’d rather leave everything in my name but wasn’t sure how it stands legally and again don’t want tenants to take advantage. Difficult decision

I think it’s fine legally ; and you also have the option of keeping some bills in your name, whilst changing others. I think it’s a case of whatever works best for you.

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NEVER keep all bills in your name(30 years a landlord)

It sounds like there a story behind that advice, Colin! Did you ‘learn this the hard way’ at some point?

Hi sam there is not a landlord story but if you dont put all the bills in the tenants name and there is a problem you carry the can its really obvious you have to pass the responsibility on to the consumer of those services . Unless its a H M O Regards Colin.

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Advise all utilities/council of new occupants details and ensure it is in the contract that they will do the same within, say 7 days of tenancy commencing. Your contract should say forwarding address details are required at end of tenancy before deposit return can be considered and that they give express permission for you to supply all providers with your on going contact details.

This is not just a room in a shared house. It’s a standalone, independently expensed property.

The bills that will be generated are for their usage.
Therefore they should be in their name.
They should be accountable from the start.
They will need to be on electoral register or at least register as the occupants with the council for correct billing for the various council sevices.
Your mortgage company/insurance company would also want them properly cited as the occupants. Make sure both know the arrangements.

It’s about accountability. And, common sense.

Peter B
Member NLA

write to the utilities and council YOURSELF and advise of change of bill payer

I agree.
NEVER keep the bills under your name.

I make sure that you have notified all the utility companies and the council of the changes and never include the costs within the rent, its far to open to abuse. Have you not considered pay meters for electric and gas, most of our flats and houses have them, this way you don’t have to notify any one other than the council and water. I am sure that most of you know that if a place is unoccupied the is no water rates to pay, so don’t forget to notify them when its vacant. Regards the phone line I always tell them to discuss that directly with BT.

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