Do I have to stump up for bills on my property?

Question

I’m a first-time landlord, and I’m not sure what bills I should be paying and what I can pass over to tenants. Is council tax something I can pass the buck on for example?

Answer

With regards to council tax, it entirely depends on what kind of property you are letting.

If you are letting a whole property to a single person, family or joint tenants (with the same tenancy agreement) your tenants are responsible for the council tax.

However, if you are letting an HMO, and you are overlooking several tenants each with different tenancy agreements you are responsible for handling the council tax and your council will send the bill directly to you.

Council tax is the only bill that is so stringent through – you can be more flexible with the way you manage the payments of other bills. Some landlords prefer to ensure that utility bills are
guaranteed to be paid, so choose to pay them themselves and cover their costs with an increase in rent.

However, if you want to maintain a competitive rental rate, so your property looks appealing when placed against its competitors on the portals, most tenants nowadays do expect to pay their own bills, including utilities. In addition to keeping costs lower, this options allows them to switch providers and ensure they are getting the best deal to reflect their personal usage.

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