As a landlord renting out a property, the responsibility of bills vary depending on the type of letting arrangement you have.
Building service charge:
If a tenant is to pay the buildings service charge, the tenancy agreement must state this prior to the tenant moving in. If there isn’t a clause stating this within the tenancy agreement, the tenant will be allowed to dispute their liability to pay and you could end up with the bill.
The tenant is responsible for the council tax when you rent the property out to one person or a family. However, if you rent the property to multiple occupants, known as HMO (House in multiple occupation), you, the landlord is responsible for paying the council tax.
All properties need to be covered by a TV license if you supply a means for tenants to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or to download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer – live, catch up or on demand. TV licensing state this applies to any device provided by you, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/Blu-ray/VHS recorder.
However, the TV license is only your responsibility if you installed the device for the tenants. It is also dependent on the terms in the tenancy agreement. As a landlord you can pass responsibility to the tenant but the tenant must sign and agree to this prior to their move-in date.
Utility Bills (Gas, Water, Electricity):
The tenancy agreement must clearly state who is responsible for the gas, water and electricity bills. If you make the tenants responsible, you must ensure all name changes are made with the billing company. The tenants are then responsible for supplying meter readings and name changes, which can be done over the phone, online or through written communications.
Tenants must be aware that if multiple names are placed on bills, everyone named is responsible for outstanding payments, regardless if one pays their part while another does not.
Be aware that should the household become vacant, all bills revert back to you, the landlord.
If you do not understand your responsibilities you can talk to an industry professional at Pad by calling 0161 839 9654.