Moving from the protective bubble of student halls into real student accommodation can be fairly scary. What used to be a single lump sum payment, with all student house bills included, suddenly turns into multiple separate payments of rent, utilities, wifi, water and broadband.
Whether you’re in a flat of three or a house of nine, there are a few monetary considerations to be made when it comes to student house bills. To save you some time and possibly some sanity, we’ve put together a quick guide which covers all you’ll need to know about the cost of student house bills.
What’s the difference between rent and bills?
Rent is paid to gain the right to occupy (or live in) a property. This can be paid directly to a landlord or through a property management company. In most first-year halls, the money you pay to the property management company, covers the cost of both student bills and rent.
Student house bills make up and pay for necessities such as, clean and hot water, energy for electrical appliances and heating. They can also go beyond the needs of a property and can extend to things such as a stable WIFI connection and access to live TV.
While rent tends to be fixed, the cost of bills is priced on usage.
The three main student bills we’ll be touching on are:
– Gas and Electric
– TV Licenses
Student House Bills: Gas and Electric
Gas and electricity provide energy for items such as central heating, lighting, kitchen appliances, washing machines, fridges, kettles, and microwave etc etc.
For a property with four occupants, your utility bills can average at a cost of around £137 a month, which is equivalent to £1640 a year. Splitting this cost between four people would come to £34.25 per person.
Top Tip – Living with more tenants allows you to split the bills with more people.
Student House Bills: Broadband
These days, having good reliable internet is a necessity but it also comes at a price. The price you end up paying can really vary, depending on the provider and package you choose to go with.
Unlike utility bills, this will be a fixed monthly cost. The main element which determines the price of broadband packages is the speed and data usage.
It’s worth noting, there are packages available which do offer discounts for students. We did some research and found the average cost of student broadband to be £26 per household. If we split this out to a household of four people, then the price averages out at £6.50 per person.
One thing to consider when choosing a broadband package, is that having more people in a household using multiple devices requires more data usage which can quickly eat up data and reduce the overall speed. We advise going for unlimited package for households of more than 4 people.
If your interested in learning more, we’ve put together a detailed article explaining everything you need to know about broadband packages which will aid you in making your choice.
Broadband Package Cost Comparison
For a full comparison, check out our article – Best Student Broadband Deals 2021
Student House Bills: TV License
It costs £157.50 per year, for a TV license in the UK. You only need one TV license per household, so if you choose, you can have a TV in both your living room and bedroom at no extra cost. While it’s a yearly cost, you can apply for a refund during the summer months if you return home.
TV Licenses are needed when you:
- Watch or record live tv, from any network channel such as BBC, ITV, Channel 4 etc.
- Download or watch any shows from the BBC, including on BBC iPlayer
TV Licenses are not needed when you:
- Stream from subscription-based sites such as Amazon Prime or Netflix.
- Connect your game console and use any apps or watch DVDs.
- Use a on-demand TV or video application to watch pre-recorded shows, such as All 4. (Bear in mind, if you watch any live TV programs on a service like All 4 live, then you still have to purchase a TV licence)
Splitting the cost for a four-person household, TV license would to £39.38 for the year, the equivalent of £3.29 per month, per person.
You can read more about TV Licenses HERE.
Reducing your costs
Since your living in student accommodation, it’s unlikely you’ll have any say in the maintenance of the building. Your landlord wouldn’t be too happy if you decided to screw nails into the walls or repaint the living room yellow. But you can have a say in the house that you choose to move into.
Have a look at the insulation of the building. Does the student house use double glazing or single? You can ask questions about the heating: if you’ll have a smart metre (that will charge the exact amount of what you’ve used every month), how long does the house take to heat up, does the house lose heat quickly?
The answers to these questions can help you decide if your housing is efficient. The higher the efficiency, the lower the monthly utility bill.
Energy Efficiency Certificate
Another sure-fire way of knowing what you’re getting into. Landlords should have the information of house efficient the building is, depending on factors such as draught exclusions and double glazing.
As with before, the higher the efficiency, the lower the monthly utility bill.
Take advantage of student discounts
As mentioned, there a number of providers that have a range of packages. This also included discounts for students to utilise.
The early bird catches the student bill saving worm
Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to be tied into a contract! With alot of contracts, especially Broadband packages, monthly rolling tends to be more expensive than being in an annual contract.
Use only when you need
I don’t mean to sound like a Dad but, couldn’t you avoid putting the heating on by wearing a jumper? Using energy only when you need it can massively reduce your costs, and help you do your bit for the environment at the same time.
Turning the tap off when brushing teeth, taking shorter showers, turning off lights when leaving a room, avoiding daily timers, and just turning the Central Heating on when cold can all be great ways to reduce how much energy and water you’re using in the house.
Only you can decide if live TV is worth the money. While not a massive price, TV Licenses are restricting, and if you would rather pay for a wider spectrum of entertainment, streaming services tend to be better for your money.
You can cancel anytime without having to apply for a refund, and you have a wider array of shows, movies, and documentaries to choose from.
Replace the lighting
There are two types of lightbulb that we tend to use, Halogen and LEDs. Halogens tend to heat fairly quickly, whereas LEDs are made to use less energy, be brighter and cost a fraction of the cost of a Halogen bulb.
Opt for using LEDs in your lamps and overhead lighting to reduce the costs for the lighting.
Find & Advertise Student Accommodation
Still looking for a student property? Search through out our wide range of student accommodation and find great student diggz in your town or city. Alternatively, if you have a place your looking to rent out, place a free advert and get your student property filled quickly. Both landlords and students can place free adverts!