More than half of people in the UK would prefer simplicity over the cheapest price when paying bills in shared accommodation, according to the latest research.
When looking for a student house, the decision must be made of whether to get all-inclusive bill packages – which usually covers gas, electricity, broadband, water and sometimes a TV licence – or to have non-inclusive bills, and pay each cost separately.
A recent survey conducted by online student bill-sharing tool Split The Bills found that 34% of people would prefer to have all payments combined just to pay one single bill, while 24% said they would choose whichever option is simpler.
Nicholas Lambrou, director of Nicholas Humphreys Estate Agent, said: “An all-inclusive option provides each tenant living inside the property with total peace of mind that all their utility expenses are taken care of under one simple payment.
“The fixed monthly fee is usually set up via direct debit and this allows tenants to manage their finances without any hidden surprises.
“If a member of the household doesn’t pay their share of bills, it doesn’t impact others when using inclusive-bill packages and they can continue to enjoy the benefits of the utilities they have signed up for.”
Although inclusive bills can save time, it also means landlords have full control over which suppliers are chosen, which usually increases the overall cost.
Ashley Tate, chief executive officer at Split The Bills, said: “If you don’t spend a lot of time at home, inclusive bills may not be the best option for you as you’ll still have to pay the same amount each month, even if you’re using the utilities less.
“It also eliminates the option to adjust your heating settings or to take shorter showers in order to save some extra cash.”
Of those that took part in the Split The Bills study, 11% said they would choose an inclusive bill package to prevent arguments about money and 15% would select whichever option would save them money.
Jake Butler, Operations Director at Save The Student, said: “If you go for inclusive bills it can save you a small amount of time and effort but the potential savings make non-inclusive much better.”
The Split The Bills survey showed that only a collective 14% of people would choose to have non-inclusive bills. Half of which wanted to know the cost of each bill, and the remaining percentage preferred to have control over choosing the utility providers.
“Non-inclusive bills allow students to be in control of which suppliers they go with which allows them to secure the best exclusive deals. It also means that tenants can keep track of their usage much more closely,” Jake Butler continued.
Students could alternatively use a bill-splitting service which break down the utility expenses into one payment for each housemate, with the benefit of good energy deals and the choice of which services to include.
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