University Bills - Student Guide
At university halls of residence you won’t have to worry about any household bills other than TV license but when you move in to a flat or house of your own you’ll have to think about electricity, gas and water bills. You won’t have to pay council tax as a student.
Gas and Electricity
The chances are that your flat or house has been used before and is signed up to a specific energy supplier(s) (by energy we mean gas and electricity). It’s really easy to sign up to new suppliers, in most cases you just give the new supplier your address, sign a piece of paper and they will do the rest.
When you first move in to your house or flat you will need to take the readings on your gas and electricity meters, these can usually be found in a cupboard near your front door, ask your landlord if you can’t find it.
Once you have these readings you need to ring up the current energy supplier(s) and tell them that you have just moved in to the flat, give them the names for the bills and give them the reading on the meters.
This will make sure you only pay for gas and electricity that you have used. Any unpaid bills from previous tenants are not your responsibility.
It is very important that you do this, if you then want to change supplier(s) you can do that after you have given the meter readings to the current supplier(s).
- See our more in-depth guide to bills in accommodation (for students not in halls of residence).
You water bill is usually paid annually or half yearly and if you move out in less than a year then you will receive a rebate of anything owed to you by the water company (as long as you contact them and let them know you’ve moved out).
You will usually find that as long as the previous tenant has contacted the water supplier to let them know they are moving out that you will receive your first water bill very soon after moving in to your new property.
Because you pay for a long period in advance with your water it can be a fairly expensive so don’t forget to make space in your budget for it.
Unlike in halls of residence where you need a TV licence for your own room in a private flat or house you will only need a TV licence for the whole property so the more of you sharing the bill the less it will become.
- More information on TV licence for students
Do make sure you pay it though as the fine for not having one can be a lot.
Avoid non-Goverment student loans
Although some students take out non Government student loans (i.e. not from the SLC) to pay bills at university, we would strongly advise that students didn't do so as this can often lead to even more debt.
Paying back your student loan
Council tax and students
Credit crunch - student guide
Financial Help for Students
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