Most rent in the private sector does not include the cost of utilities. You will need to contact the companies who provide your gas, electricity and water when you move into a property to make sure that you are billed correctly.
This section includes information on:
Leeds University Union is a partner in the Energy best deal scheme. This scheme helps you save money on utilities by talking through different payment approaches, how to compare tarifs and energy saving. For more information see this video from Citizens Advice:
When you move in to a property, find and read your meter, make a note of the readings and contact the suppliers with the name of each of the tenants and the reading to open an account. You should discuss with your housemates how you will arrange bills before moving into a house.
If possible you should include all names on the bills. The utility companies should allow you all to register jointly so it may be a good idea to open a house bank account where these bills are paid from. If one person's name is on the bills, even though all members of the household are liable due to usage, it is harder to prove who should be charged.
If you don't provide accurate readings when you move in your could end up paying the previous tenants' bills.
If you cannot find the meters in your property or there is some confusion over which meter services your house or flat, contact your landlord or estate agent.
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Water: Yorkshire Water supplies Water to everyone in this area. Unless you are on a meter you don't have to get a reading for this. Contact Yorkshire Water with your names and they will set up an account for you which can be paid monthly or three monthly. To contact Yorkshire Water to set up your account or for any problems to do with your water visit www.yorkshirewater.com
Gas and Electricity: Many companies can now supply your gas or electricity or both.
To find out who currently supplies gas to your house contact M-Number on 0870 6081524.
To find out your electricity supplier contact M-Pas on 0845 3300889.
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You should always make your initial complaint to the supplier. You should clearly state the problem, using the companies complaint's procedure.
We have a self help pack on making an effective complaint here:
If you continue to have problems you can contact Consumer Direct who can assist with complaints to energy suppliers.
For more information on the gas and electricity industries: www.ofgem.gov.uk.
You can get further advice from The Student Advice Centre.
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Some landlords offer inclusive rents where the bills are included. While these may seem a good idea and can save you the bother of setting up accounts, there are some things to be aware of:
These contracts will be likely to cost more, as the landlords will allow enough usage to ensure that they get enough money. The may also charge to cover admin.
Make sure you know what happens if you use more, or less than the landlord has allowed for - will you pay more, or get a refund.
Make sure that your name is not on the bill, or you will be potentially held liable if the landlord does not pay the bills.
The same applies for companies who set up accounts and pay bills for you. Always check the small print of their agreements.
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This information was last checked on 09/11/12. This information is updated as often as possible. Leeds University Union can not be held responsible if the information here is incorrect.