This is a question that is asked by many tenants when they are about to move in to one of our Student properties. Also asked is how do we deal with the utility connections and who do we pay, Star Lettings or the supplier?
Star Lettings will inform you who your utility suppliers are for the gas, electricity and water when you move into your property, this information will be included in your welcome pack. We try to keep the suppliers the same for all of our managed properties which is why we need confirmation from you if you decide to change your utility supplier and then we can either change it back again at the end of the tenancy or inform the next group on who that supplier is.
When you move in your gas, electricity and water are all up and running and it is your responsibility as the tenant to contact the utility companies and set up accounts and arrange how you would like to set up payment.
Your water supplier will always be South West Water and they will bill in advance and so we advise you to contact them when you move in and set up a monthly direct debit and then you won’t get a nasty surprise when a large bill drops through the door and have to make larger monthly payments because you are already several months into your tenancy. We would advise you to set up all the utility bills in all of your names, if you only set them up in one or two names then it will leave those named on the account liable for any shortfall at the end of the tenancy. We would advise you to pay all the bills by direct debit as usually you get a discount for doing this and go paperless where possible if there is another discount for this as well. There is also quite often a discount if you use the same supplier for gas and electric, the dual fuel discount.
Set up online accounts so that you can enter meter readings quickly and easily and keep an eye on your spending’s.
You do not need the landlord’s permission to change supplier but we do need you to keep us updated. If you decide to change suppliers then we recommend that you go on the compare sites and also research the Martin Lewis money program as he has some very useful tips on choosing a supplier and in his words ‘ Scroll Down’…..
You will however require permission to have a smart meter fitted and so please request this through Star Lettings and we will put this to the Landlord.
Water meters is another common question and we would recommend that you call South West Water and go through your usage for the whole group and explain that you are a house share rather than a family, you may well be advised that it would be more expensive if you have a water meter fitted.
Here are a few simple tips on how to save money on your utility bills, especially useful now with spending so much time at home doing online lectures.
- PUT ON A JUMPER AND SOME SLIPPERS
- Turn your thermostat down – just reducing by 1 degree could reduce your bills by as much as 10%
- Check to see if there is a dual fuel discount
- Turn lights out as you leave the room
- Fill your washing machine up by not splitting whites and colours and use a colour catcher or share a load with your housemate.
- Have showers rather than baths
- Find time to submit your meter readings rather than have estimated bills