2nd Year House Share- What to do about bills?

(25 Posts)
WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 03-May-18 20:28:20

DS has arranged a house share with 4 other flat mates from halls for his 2nd Year at uni. The rental housetenancy runs from July.
So I'm asking for those thst have been down this road with their DC, how is the best way for the 5 of them to split and pay bills?
What's the safest most sensible way to do it?

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Thu 03-May-18 20:31:46

Do they have meters or top up payg? Ds house-group has each with responsibility for one bill - gas, electricity, broadband - and the others transfer money over when payment is due. They move out next month so will need to get final readings. I'd advise your dc to take photos of meters when they move in to avoid dispute.

WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 03-May-18 20:38:28

I have no idea what they have tbh.
DS seems so laid back but I'm stressing.
Good idea about photographing the meters on day 1.
I was thinking along those lines of each taking responsibility for a bill.

I'm trying to compile a list of bills. So far I have:
Council Tax
TV licence

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Thu 03-May-18 20:41:22

They should not pay ct.

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 03-May-18 20:44:21

My dc use a couple of the bill splitter apps - there are several. They use them for all sorts of things, not just utility bills, but things like buying food for shared meals. They can also put in all the little bits of money they lend each other - A and B owe C, C owes B and D, A paid for a takeaway for everyone, etc, and it works out all the resulting debts.

For sorting out the bills in the first place, they've shared them out so they're all in different names (as long as you have at least as many housemates as bills!). I think they tend to have bills rather than pay automatically by direct debit. Then they just all go into Glide/whatever app.

The apps aren't free, but it seems worth it for the lack of hassle.

WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 03-May-18 20:44:43

No by? Why?

I thought students got a discount not free.

One of them has left uni but still house sharing as he now has a job!

OP’s posts: |
AtiaoftheJulii Thu 03-May-18 20:45:17

Yeah, no council tax if they're all students. Will they have a TV?


WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 03-May-18 20:45:45

I meant no council tax??

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Thu 03-May-18 20:46:11

Ah if one is working they will be charged but undergrads are not liable, so they may get single person discount.

WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 03-May-18 20:46:38

Those apps sound interesting. Will mention to DS

OP’s posts: |
AtiaoftheJulii Thu 03-May-18 20:46:40

Oh, so the house will be liable for the council tax, but the single person's discount. They'll have to decide whether the worker pays it or they all chip in.

SweetieBaby Thu 03-May-18 20:50:13

If all the housemates are students they won't pay council tax.

If one is working, and is no longer a student, some council tax will have to be paid.

They will have to decide if they split this between them (bearing in mind if that housemate wasn't living there they wouldn't have to pay it) or if the working housemate should foot the bill.

Lots of landlords won't allow a mixture of tenants to avoid this situation.

WalkinglikeaFlamingo Thu 03-May-18 20:54:28

I best tell them to read their tenancy contract as he was a uni student but only recently left uni.
He is going back to uni town as he cannot get out of contract easily and they could not find a 5th person to take over his place. DS said the lad cones from somewhere very rural and wants to stay /go back yo uni town as more opportunities for work.

OP’s posts: |
Grobagsforever Thu 03-May-18 21:07:28

Eh? Why are you getting involved? Leave the five adults to sort it for themselves...this is part of the university experience- using your brain to solve basic life problems- not your mum posting on mumsnet about them!!

Lifeaback Thu 03-May-18 21:14:36


I agree that you should take a step back. He needs to figure out these things at some point in his life. Be there if he needs to run anything by you but don't sort it out for them

goodbyestranger Thu 03-May-18 21:25:10

Actually that's true. I hadn't really been conscious of not getting involved but four of my DC had house shares at uni and they sorted out all the bill stuff themselves. No-one fell out and no-one was ripped off (or I'd have heard about it). Just leave him to it, I agree.

BubblesBuddy Thu 03-May-18 21:30:26

Students often agree differing rents as well. The one with the biggest room pays most, smallest room pays least. Not huge variations but some rooms are usually more desirable than others. They need to agree how to allocate the rooms.

A bill per person worked well for DD. Then settle up by bank transfer when the named person is paying the bill.

I agree about not stressing about this. However, the biggest problem is the working lad. Single person relief may only be 25%. Student relief is 100%. Presumably as a worker he is earning more, but the council tax could easily be over £1000 even with the discount and possibly more depending upon where it is. Did the agreement state they all were students? This is a difficult situation. Sometimes landlords let to young professionals but again, all the flat are the same. Does the young man actually have a job or will he be job hunting over the summer? Is he moving in during July? How will that work if the others arrive in September/October?

senua Thu 03-May-18 21:43:36

DD's house had a communal bank account and everyone paid in their (guesstimated) share of bills at the beginning of every month (say £25). This meant that the money was ready and waiting when bills came in, instead of having to chase everyone individually (for poxy amounts like £23.86).
The sundry bills were in individual names (as above, to share out the liability) but the common bank account paid them. It also paid for shared costs like milk or cleaning products.

AtiaoftheJulii Thu 03-May-18 22:14:27

Yes, one of my dd's has (and will be again) paid less for a smaller room/single bed/whatever.

I don't think asking how other people have sorted things out is getting over-involved! I haven't had any input to my kids' setups, but they've both talked to us about how they've arranged things. It's interesting to know what the possibilities are.

Hope the info about council tax is helpful, OP.

HSMMaCM Sat 05-May-18 08:54:29

DD's house for next year has one non student. He is paying all the council tax, as they wouldn't have a bill without him. He gets 25% off for being single I think.

Oratory1 Sat 05-May-18 11:08:25

I would prefer to get my dc to ask others how it’s done. Finding out things from peers/colleagues and asking for help themselves is all a valuable part part of the uni/growing up experience

Grassyass Sat 05-May-18 11:46:52

Mine used Glide a company which does the bill splitting and charges each individual. Slightly more expensive but way less hassle. SplitTheBills is another company.
Mine, like most students, never watch proper tv just netflix so don't need a tv license as they have no connected TV.

PotTheRed Sat 05-May-18 18:06:59

I’ve given advice to my kids about bills and I’m glad I have. It’s actually not always that simple to set bills up so my imput has been welcomed. All my kids use comparison sites etc.

Taking photos of meters has proved useful to them in the past.

They may not need a tv license and if they do I think you can get a 9 month or part year license (but not sure so you would have to check)

Geneticsbunny Sat 05-May-18 18:19:36

You should let him sort it out with his housemates. It is a good time to learn all this stuff. He will ask you if he needs help.

Etymology23 Sat 05-May-18 18:25:34

We used an app called “splitwise” and had a group where we tracked the costs. So e.g. I paid water £25 pcm and another housemate paid gas and electric £100pcm, then someone else paid the broadband (£20pcm). I topped up my share by paying for various foods we kept communally and housemate no. 2 topped theirs up a by paying the TV license and Netflix. If one of us got super out of kilter we would pay the others but mainly we just kept track and if one us got behind we would pay for something extra (maybe cinema tickets if we were all going or something).

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