Landlord approach to bills in a shared let

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    Landlord approach to bills in a shared let

    I have a 2 bed apartment that I plan to let out ASAP. Current plan is to let it out as 2 separate rooms which will target our ideal tenants better and hopefully keep the void periods to a minimum.

    Having only let out entire apartments before the utilities bills normally go in the tenants name but for this separate room letting approach I am considering keeping the utilities in my name and then charging the tenants actual costs every quarter.

    I'm just wondering about the pitfalls of this approach. I intend to choose nice reasonable tenants that will pay there bills without problem but best to be aware of any holes before falling in.

    Thinking on keeping in my name:- Gas, Electric, TV licence. Unsure about phone line and broadband.

    What if tenant stop paying for such utilities, would that be grounds for eviction in the same way as not paying rent?

    Not that I would ever want to evict a tenant, just good to know if it would be a leaver to suggest they should be paying up or making tracks to live else where.

    Thanks in advance for any advice. DD.


    #2
    There would be the obvious "he uses more than me" arguments.
    And of course if they are in your name then you are liable.

    You can't charge more than it costs you.

    And I'm pretty sure that any default would be a personal debt and so not grounds for eviction.

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      #3
      Dundee eh? Is the property in Scotland?
      I am legally unqualified: If you need to rely on advice check it with a suitable authority - eg a solicitor specialising in landlord/tenant law...

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        #4
        Just let it to one tenant, and say he can have a lodger IIWY. Then it's up to them to sort out the utility costs between them.

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          #5
          Originally posted by theartfullodger View Post
          Dundee eh? Is the property in Scotland?
          I was made in Dundee and I like to Dance in Dundee on occasion as well

          I currently live in Edinburgh where the property is also, so yes it's in Scotland.

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            #6
            Originally posted by nukecad View Post
            And of course if they are in your name then you are liable.
            You can't charge more than it costs you.
            And I'm pretty sure that any default would be a personal debt and so not grounds for eviction.
            Starting to see the benefit of rolling the utility bills of Electricity and Gas into the rent figure and advertising the rooms as inclusive of bills.

            Then when explaining the tenancy agreement with the tenants explain the current rental rate is calculated based on normal usage and if they constantly deviate for the estimated usage then the rental rate will need to change to reflect their real usage.

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              #7
              Originally posted by JK0 View Post
              Just let it to one tenant, and say he can have a lodger IIWY. Then it's up to them to sort out the utility costs between them.
              The option you outline would be more beneficial to me but I feel I might need to wait a while for tenants to get organised enough to contact me as pair. Also one tenant would need to take the risk of finding writing his name down as the lead tenant.

              I'm trying to take on a bit of the organisation and risk management to make the let more appealing, therefore have less void periods and to attract my target tenants who will be hopefully be sensible professionals who will take care of my nice property.

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                #8
                You only need to find two, don't you? My place in London was originally let to five sharers in 2000. It has not been vacant for a day since. Any time someone moves out, the tenant has to find someone PDQ, or he will have to pay the full rent himself.

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