Should I rent with bills included?

Let's face it, by now you've seen landlords and letting agents offering bills included in the rent. After all, who wants to spend hours of their free time talking to utility companies every month? The ability to incorporate the bills and rent into one monthly payment clearly offers tenants a valuable convenience, but is it for you? Let's take a look.

The benefits of bills included

Talking to utility companies, searching around for the best "duel rate tariff", chasing that one flat mate every month for his share of the water bill, it's not much fun is it? Your first years away from home in a Leeds student house should be spent getting into mischief and making stories that you'll be dining out on for years to come.

An all bills inclusive service means you make one headline payment to your landlord each month. You won't have to spend hours on hold to British Gas or Yorkshire Water which can cost a fortune in call charges, nor will you come to blows with that one friend who's a great laugh but a cheapskate in equal measures. You know the guy we're talking about. The one who gets a bit funny when you ask for an extra packet of kettle chips with a round of drinks.

Paying for utilities through the rent also means you won't get a nasty gas bill through the post just before Christmas. That expensive shaver you were about to buy your dad? No.

Times have changed. The days of the cold, mouldy, damp student house are but a distant memory. Having bills included in the rent means you don't have to worry about energy costs and wearing three jumpers around the house in December. No, instead bring out the Bahamas shorts and singlet vest, get the Pina Coladas out and crank the boiler to 26.

Having bills included in the rent means you don't have to worry about energy costs and wearing three jumpers around the house in December.

The negatives of bills included

Ok, bring yourself back to earth for a minute. Having an all inclusive deal is great for convenience, but as with most things in this world, extra convenience comes at a cost.

To pay for all these bills, as well as the service to administer it, unfortunately means you'll pay more than you otherwise might do if you organised it yourself. How much more ? Well that depends on how long you're willing to search around for the best deals.

Dealing with utility companies is something we all have to do eventually. Taking the responsibility of managing these accounts now offers valuable life experience which stands you in good stead for future years.

There is little doubt that all inclusive options have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly amongst the students of Leeds. However, as with most financial decisions it comes down to a cost benefit decision. Do you value your time and friendships? If so all inclusive could be for you.

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