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A --RANT-- plea to all parents of student house-sharers

(89 Posts)
Twitterqueen Mon 19-Oct-15 17:04:50

Please ensure your sons and daughters pay their flipping bills! My poor DC volunteered to be lead tenant for a house of 8 - and NO-ONE is paying their bills. Which means DC is having to subsidise everyone else. And DC cannot afford it!

It's rude, it's unfair and it's causing a lot of unnecessary stress and hardship. DC has taken on all the utility org - water, electric, gag, ISP, landlord negotiations etc - for no reward. At all. Except abuse and "oh yea, I don't have the money right now." NEITHER DOES DC. PAY WHAT YOU OWE - NOW.

Oh no your poor DC.
When DS went for a house share they were planning to do the bills that way. Someone even suggested a joint bank account. I explained to DS that this could affect their future credit ratings and fortunately they decided against.
It's not the cheapest but Glide or SplitTheBills save all the hassle you describe. Each tenant pays their own share of all the bills in one monthly direct debit.

Twitterqueen Mon 19-Oct-15 17:19:36

Thanks If. I'll mention those options.

VimFuego101 Mon 19-Oct-15 17:24:42

Why did they not take on a bill each rather than leaving them all to one person? At least that way if someone doesn't pay your bill then you have the leverage of not paying theirs in return (yes, childish, I know - but the OP's child has no real way of enforcing payment at the moment so at least it shares the liability). I would let the internet lapse/get cut off tbh, probably the thing that people will miss first. Or change the wifi password and only give it out when the bills are paid up.

homeaway Mon 19-Oct-15 17:34:47

It is awful and house sharing can bring out the worst in people. We paid a large bill that was not ours to pay but because it was in our dd name if it was not paid she would have had a bad credit rating. Whoever's name is on the bill is the one who is responsible if the others do not pay and sadly some people feel that they don't have to pay.

MultiShirking Mon 19-Oct-15 18:49:36

All other tenants should be required to set up a monthly standing order of roughly their share of the bills into your DC's account. Then they can do the plus or minus adjustment every couple of months.

It will get worse in the winter: your DC needs to enforce this system, or then contact his/her housemates' parents to set up payments.

Good luck.

Lj8893 Mon 19-Oct-15 18:53:55

I'm sure utilities can have more than 1 person on the bill? Can't your dc contact the companies and put all the others names on it too?

Or change providers where they can. But not actually change, just cancel the ones they have now. I'm sure everyone will pay up when there's no electric etc!

Lj8893 Mon 19-Oct-15 18:55:10

Can they get a gas and electric meter?

MidnightRed Mon 19-Oct-15 19:00:18

How did your DS end up with his name on everything? When I had a student house share we each had our name on one bill. That seemed the fairest way to do it as everyone shares the responsibility. And you then have some leverage if others get arsey.

I would be withholding the wifi password for a start if they didn't cough up. Could you or he contact the other housemates parents? They will hopefully be horrified and exert some pressure.

Kacie123 Mon 19-Oct-15 19:04:53

Can they talk to the uni? They MUST have some sort of resolution for this sort of scenario??

Twitterqueen Tue 20-Oct-15 08:58:34

Good suggestions all.
I have also suggested changing the WiFi p/w. I think this is probably the most powerful.
DC has also thought about asking the utilities supplier to cut them off for a day, but then they would have to pay a reconnection charge.
I've suggested the standing order suggestion too - trouble is, DC can't frogmarch people to the bank and make them do it..

Lesson here is never let your DC be a lead tenant. angry

Lj8893 Tue 20-Oct-15 09:26:48

Good idea about asking the utility's to cut them off for a day, although I doubt they would. And if they have to pay a reconnection charge, great, let it be a lesson to them (housemates, not your dc).

MultiShirking Tue 20-Oct-15 09:41:13

Lesson here is never let your DC be a lead tenant

Sorry, but I think the lessons here are for your DC. This is stuff they need to learn.

NotCitrus Tue 20-Oct-15 09:41:15

Get son to tell the others he can't pay the bills so the internet is being cut off first (followed by gas, electric, water).
Then change the internet password.

Utilities are crap at having multiple people on the bills - he could phone to say he is moving out and the bill should now be sent to (housemate name).

TalkinPeece Tue 20-Oct-15 13:41:25

change the wifi password until everybody else pays up
grin
tell them that the account password will be changed every month that any one of them does not pay

bigbluebus Tue 20-Oct-15 15:10:47

What system do other students use? I'm sure all students aren't good payers so your DC won't be the 1st to have had this problem. Watching with interest for suggestions as to how the bills shoud be set up as DS will be in a 2nd year student next year so will be in a house share.

Twitterqueen Tue 20-Oct-15 15:16:52

Oh hey MultiShirking explain to me exactly how the lesson lies with my DC.

Would that be the lesson never to trust anyone, never to put yourself out for anyone else? Say "yeah, sure that's fine. I've got no money but don't worry about me not being able to afford to buy food." Of course you can just pay your bills when you feel like it.

Really? Your name is very apt.

Chillyegg Tue 20-Oct-15 15:20:32

How's your details paying for all this poor lad!?
Are you in an position to help break contract. ? Student landlords can be be terrible!
I 2nd WiFi cut of also contact unison. ? They help with student flat disputes not sure if that's just with landlords though.

M4blues Tue 20-Oct-15 15:30:59

He needs to change the wifi password today. They'll soon pay up. Don't give it back on a promise of payment. He needs hard cash.

Preminstreltension Tue 20-Oct-15 15:31:52

twitterqueen I think what multi is saying is that there's trying to help people and get stuff done and then there's signing up for a contract which, in the end and if things go wrong, will come back to haunt your DC.

I'm really sorry this has happened to him/her and it's really unfair and yes everybody else is being crap. But the lesson is, don't sign contracts as a favour to make life easier for everybody else. It's too painful when it goes wrong.

I think others have good advice though on managing this - university services, changing passwords etc. And don't be the lead tenant again sad

ZenNudist Tue 20-Oct-15 15:42:08

Oh dear. I don't think an appeal to parents about their adult children is going to work. There will always be a feckless so and so taking advantage. Living together is hard but your ds has learned a good lesson to be more wary. I never knew of a 'lead tenant' before, sounds like a good way to get done over.

Also needs to grow a backbone and ask more forcibly. An 'I haven't got any money right now' is a pathetic excuse. Stamp down hard on it from the get go, not let everyone get away with it. Should be met with a 'neither have I, pay up or we get cut off' ! House meeting to insist. Demand that others take On share of bills if it's falling disproportionately on your dd in terms of admin time as well. There's no way he should be footing the cost.

SurlyCue Tue 20-Oct-15 15:49:07

Why on earth did he volunteer for that? confused was he eager to be liked?

M4blues Tue 20-Oct-15 16:03:58

If I found out my student DC was failing to pay his share, I'd be livid and is stop all monies immediately. I'd be matching in there embarrassing him in front of his friends saying what a disgrace he was. I would be appalled as he would, in effect, be stealing from that house mate just as sure as if he'd gone into their room and lifted their wallet. Not sting bills like this is theft.

M4blues Tue 20-Oct-15 16:05:15

paying bills.

Moominmammacat Tue 20-Oct-15 16:27:42

I own two student houses and insist on having parents' email/bank details. Unusually, I keep utility bills in my name to save switching over each year. Most parents pay rent and bills directly to me and I've never had any problems, just ask for a set amount each month and settle up whether they are in credit/debit at the end of the academic year. I would take it out of their deposits if they were more than a month behind ... don't know if that's legal though ....

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