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A-Z OF PROPERTY MANAGEMENT – B IS FOR BILLS

This week, we’re talking about bills! As standard, bills are included for HMO rooms, so tip number 1 is: Make it clear as to which bills are included within the tenant’s rent.

It usually tends to be: Gas, Electricity, Water, Broadband, TV License (if landlord are providing a TV, if not, it might be worth reminding / pointing out to tenants that their TV license is not included and they will need to set this up directly with TV license. 

Something most tenants forget their rent includes is council tax – now, this is a grey area, so please check with your local council as some councils are now charging council tax per room, rather than the whole property.

It’s also a good idea to include something called a ‘fair usage’ policy within your tenancy agreements – this means that you can avoid tenants putting the heating on 38 degrees (instead of turning it off) and then having the windows wide open! The fair usage policy means that if the gas / electricity / water bills are higher than £x per month, then the tenant will be responsible for paying the rest.

It’s also a good idea when setting up the gas and electric to invest in a wireless system such as Inspire or Nest – this will allow you to monitor the heating controls from your home, and if you manage a number of HMOs, you can monitor all of them in one place!