When letting rooms out you should first decide whether you are going to include bills in the weekly or monthly price or not, both of these have their advantages and disadvantages.
The advantage to having bills included is you both know every month the rent expected. It is also far easier to manage and most tenants prefer this. The disadvantage being if the bills continually come in high you could be undercharging, this can be resolved by stating in the tenancy agreement that the rent will be reviewed after 6 – 12 months on revision of house bills.
The advantage to separate bills is the tenants pay an equal sum of the bill when it arrives. Everyone pays their equal fair share.
The disadvantages being:
- following tenants up for the money,
- disputes on what tenants have to pay and
- sorting the bills out.
A good way of resolving this is to have a bill area or cork board where bills are put and a time limit displayed for the bill to be paid. So before tenants move in advise them if bills are included or not and if bills are separate, advise what bills they have to pay for and when they normally come in, this saves any future confusion. The main house bills are normally:
- Gas & electric
- Council tax
- TV / cable