What bills and charges will I have to pay?
Before agreeing to rent a property, you should check what additional costs you will be required to pay. In some cases, these may be included in the rent however in most cases they will be the responsibility of the tenant, as the user of the service. In taking on additional charges it is advised that you:
- Get the account set up in your name if possible.
- If sharing, clearly agree how everyone will contribute to the bills.
- If you are not the account holder always get a copy of the bill to ensure it is accurate and that you are only paying for what you are responsible and not taking on previous arrears.
- Reduce costs by being aware of usage, use more efficient items and use at cheaper rate times.
- Suppliers offer a range of payment options including pay as you go chose the one best for you.
- Contact the supplier if you have any problems/concerns e.g. overpaying
- Shop around periodically for better value.
Electricity and Gas
Your landlord has a legal responsibility to ensure that the installations for the supply of electricity and gas are maintained in a good working order. Report all concerns to the landlord immediately.
There are several different suppliers so shop around for the best value. If the account in not in your name always get a copy of the bill before paying to ensure you are paying only what you are responsible for.
To avoid disconnections at the end of a tenancy agree with the landlord the process agreed for transferring the utility bill back into the landlord’s name/name of another tenant.
If the property operates oil heating normally as the user of the service, you will have responsibility for filling the tank. Do not allow the oil to go below minimum level required. You may wish to buy oil at times when it is cheaper such as during the summer.
Report any faults to the landlord immediately.
You should also clarify if you will be required to fill up the tank before leaving or what will be done if unused oil is left in the tank.
Your landlord is required by law to provide you with access to suitable and adequate pest and vermin proof refuse storage facilities. The method for storing/collecting your rubbish will depend on where you live and the type of property you are living in.
Service providers vary across the country but shop around for the best price and service. Check if they provide a waiver or reduced fee if you are in receipt of a social welfare payment or pension. Use recycling bins, organic waste bins to keep costs to a minimum.
Your landlord does not have to provide you with a TV and if one is provided as part of the letting you, as user of the service will normally be responsible for the TV licence.
Check with your landlord if you want to add an aerial/satellite as you need their permission which they cannot unreasonably refuse. You may be liable for any structural repair work caused due to the installation/removal. In apartments there may be rules prohibiting the installation of satellite dishes.
There is no legal obligation on your landlord to provide internet access. If it is provided check that it works and that there is good coverage for the area. A tenant cannot alter or improve the property without the landlord’s consent. If internet is not currently installed, you should agree that you can do this with the landlord before agreeing to rent the property.