Moving into a privately rented student house for the first time is fab – you get to live with your mates, have more space than in dorms, and might even get a garden!

The downside? You have to deal with utility bills.

Moving into a new student house means there’s a lot to think about – moving all your stuff, cramming it into a moving van or your parent’s car, and then unpacking all your stuff once you get there.

When moving house, utility bills can feel like just one more thing to stress about…

That’s why Split the Bills has put together this guide – we’ll walk you through exactly what you need to do to take over utilities when moving into a new student house.

Before moving in

If you like to plan ahead, you might wonder, ‘Can you set up utilities before moving in?’.

You can’t fully set up your utilities before moving in because you’ll need your meter readings (more on that later on).

However, there are a few things you can do to prepare yourself and your housemates.

Decide how you’ll pay

You and your housemates should agree on how you’ll pay your bills as soon as possible to avoid arguments down the road. You could use a bill-splitting service, set up direct debits, or open a joint account with your housemates. Of course, all these options have pros and cons, but using a specialist bill-splitting service (like Split the Bills) is the most hassle-free route. 

For more info on splitting bills, check out our blog, ‘How to split student bills’, for a thorough rundown. 

Set up your broadband

Most student properties don’t come with broadband included, so this is something that you’ll need to set up yourself. Once you’ve set up your broadband package, it can take a couple of weeks to install it. So, if you want internet access immediately, it’s best to set your broadband a few weeks before your move-in date.

When you’re choosing a broadband package, make sure you consider the connection speed. Living in a shared property means you’re going to need a decent connection speed so that it can handle everyone connecting to it at the same time (and potentially streaming videos in different rooms). Ensure you also choose an unlimited data allowance rather than a capped one.

Once you’ve chosen your broadband package, your broadband provider will most likely send your router in the post. All you need to do is plug it in and follow the instructions to set it up.

For a detailed breakdown, have a look at our guide on setting up your broadband.

Decide if you need a TV Licence

Before moving in, you and your housemates should decide if you need to invest in a TV licence. You’ll only need a TV Licence if you (or your housemates) plan to watch live TV or any BBC programmes (including iPlayer).

Find out what utilities you’ll need to set up

Knowing what utilities you’ll need to set up before you move in is a good idea. Not all properties use gas, so it’s worth finding out if yours does. If your student house only uses electricity, you won’t need to worry about paying for gas.

It’s also worth finding out if your property has a water meter or if it is on a standard tariff – this will save you searching for a water meter on move-in day when your house doesn’t have one.

Wondering where to find all this information? Your landlord or letting agent should be able to help you out!

Find out who the utility suppliers of your new property are

You’ll need to find out who your utility (electricity, gas and water) suppliers are as soon as you can. To find out who your suppliers are, you can ask your landlord or letting agent or find out online.

The Energy Network Association search tool can help you determine your electricity supplier. First, you’ll find out who your network operator is using your postcode, then contact them to find your electricity supplier. For gas, you can use the Find My Supplier search tool. Your electricity and gas suppliers will often be the same (you can usually get a specific gas and electricity deal called a dual fuel tariff). However, this is not always the case.

You can use this tool to find out who supplies your water.

Shop around for the best deal

There’s no reason why you have to stick with your current energy supplier if you think you can get a better deal elsewhere. Do some research and see what other suppliers and energy tariffs are available.

If you do switch energy suppliers, you’ll still have to pay the final bill from the old supplier. You’ll also need to take meter readings on the day you switch over and give this reading to your old and new suppliers. This ensures you’re not being charged twice for the same energy. You can take your new meter readings on the day you move into the new property.

On move-in day

Moving into your new home can be a pretty stressful experience, but when it comes to taking over utilities, there’s one thing you can’t forget to do – take a meter reading.

Find your meters and take readings

When you move into your new student house, you must make a note of your meter readings. You’ll need these when setting up your utility accounts – they ensure you only pay for the energy or water you use.

If your property doesn’t have a water meter, you’ll be on a standard tariff and won’t have to worry about taking any water meter readings. Likewise, you won’t have to take a gas meter reading if your house doesn’t use gas.

Meters are usually located in a cellar, under the stairs, in a cupboard near the front door, or a box on an outside wall. If you’re struggling to find your meter, you can always ask your landlord, letting agent, or previous tenants if you’ve got their contact information.

We’ve got an ultimate guide on submitting and reading meters to help you out!

As soon as possible after moving in

You should do the following step as soon as possible after moving in – ideally within the first week or two.

Contact your utility providers

Once you’ve found out who your utility suppliers are, you’ll need to get in contact with them to tell them you’ve moved in, and to set up an account. Or you’ll need to tell them you will not be using them if you have chosen new suppliers (ideally, the old tenants should have told the suppliers that they are moving house as well). They’ll ask you for the date you moved in and your meter readings, and create a new account for you if applicaple.

How Split The Bills can help

If you’re already stressed just reading about how to take over utilities when moving into a new student house, we have a solution!

Split the Bills is a bill-splitting service trusted by thousands of students. This is the best way to simplify your household bills!

We do all the hard work of setting up your utility accounts to keep things as simple as possible. You can choose the services you want included in your package, including gas, electricity, water, and even your TV licence. All the payments will be split equally between all your housemates and bundled together in one neat monthly bill!

If you’re moving into a new student house, make things as simple as possible –  get a monthly price for your bills today!

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