If you are living in a shared house this can also be difficult to control and manage as individuals may have different budgets and ideas about usage. These are particularly an issue in Joint Tenancies where you are all named on the one tenancy agreement and are joint and individually liable for the bills.
People often fall out about bills for lots of reasons. It helps to agree how these should be managed from the start of the tenancy. Student households take various approaches from each tenant taking responsibility for a bill each, handing it over to a third-party bill management company, to pooling money and having everyone named on every account. You need to find what works best for you all. Even in a dispute try to remain calm and respectful and come to a mutually agreeable resolution.
Difficulties can also arise because one tenant has moved out and doesn’t think they need to contribute to the bill because they are not using or benefiting form the supply/service. However in respect of utility bills it is not that straight forward. The property needs to be still heated and had that person not signed the agreement the remaining tenants could have opted for a smaller property and smaller bills. The liability and responsibility does not disappear because you left. You need to agree and negotiate how to manage this. The Student Advice Centre can discuss this with you.
Shared Housing with Sole Tenancies: usually the bills are in the landlord’s name because tenants move in on different dates and have tenancies for different durations so it is simpler for it to be in the landlords name.
'Bills Inclusive': often your tenancy agreement is ‘inclusive of bills’ but be careful as these often have a ‘fair usage’ clause which means if you exceed a certain level you will have to pay an additional amount. Many of these clauses are not highlighted to the tenant when they sign the agreement and the clause often fails to specify the ‘fair usage’ level so tenants can unwittingly exceed it. The tenancy agreement is not inclusive of bills the landlord can ask for payment and should provide evidence of the amount owed and how this is apportioned. There are rules on what a landlord can recharge for gas and electric.