Recently, property listings in the student housing sector have been more likely to include utility bills, those for electricity, water and gas, as well as broadband. Properties offering these within rental payments can advertise their accommodation as all bills inclusive.
Largely introduced by student halls operated by universities or the private sector, it is a practice which is being increasingly adopted by private landlords as a way of making their property more attractive to student tenants.
Benefits to Students
All inclusive bills can be beneficial to students, particularly those from international destinations, as it reduces the amount of time and inconvenience when moving to their new home. It will also avoid any time waiting around for services to be connected, this can often take days or weeks. Students also relying on broadband to study or as the main form of communication with their friends and family will also find the transition easier.
It will also help students budget, as their weekly or monthly accommodation payment will remain the same throughout the year. As energy costs will likely be higher over the winter months resulting in higher payments and budgeting issues.
However, a possible drawback to this approach is that the decision on service provider has already been made for the student. They could have a preferred company, or may have had a bad experience with another. It would therefore be advisable for the landlord to choose a company that will provide a good level of service to their tenants, those that are most easily contactable and responsive to issues.
What is Currently Included
According to the National Student Accommodation Survey 2019, the majority of students rent payments include; Water (62%), Electricity (60%), Gas (53%) and Broadband (53%). These figures are overall slightly higher than the previous year. The prominence of bills inclusive rent should lead to all private landlords considering this approach.
The survey also found that 20% of rent payments including some element of cleaning, while 17% included laundry and 8% included access to a gym.
Students stated that they could pay up to £15 a week for laundry services, on a pay as you wash basis which is often used in student halls. Landlords can benefit from this by including laundry facilities in their properties. While a cleaning service, usually monthly or bi-monthy of communal areas will often be of benefit to students.
32% of students stated that their rent does not include any bills.
Benefits to Landlords
While there are benefits to students, an all inclusive arrangement can also work well for landlords too. 72% of students said that inclusive bills are either an essential or important factor they consider when renting accommodation. Offering this will make a property more appealing to a student, and increases the likelihood of finding tenants.
The payment of bills can create stressful situations within a household, 11.4% of students stated they had at some point had to pay for another tenants bills. Landlords can also be left with unpaid bills at the end of a tenancy, which they must then cover themselves. These issues can be solved with the introduction of all bills inclusive rent.
Offering this service will put you property ahead of the curve, as some landlords refuse to offer bills inclusive, it will maximise potential tenants as it is clearly a factor which is important to them and is being recognised more and more by the private rental sector.
Rent Inc. Accessed 8th November, 2019, from https://www.rentinc.co.uk/all-inclusive-student-accommodation-benefits/
Save the Student. 2019. Accessed 8th November, 2019, from https://www.savethestudent.org/accommodation/national-student-accommodation-survey-2019.html
Rightmove. Accessed 8th November, 2019, from https://www.rightmove.co.uk/advice/landlord-advice/news/top-tips-for-landlords-of-student-accommodation/
Purple Frog Property. 2017. Accessed 8th November, 2019, from https://www.purplefrogproperty.com/blog/students-opt-bills-included/
Pads for Student. 2018. Accessed 8th November, 2019, from https://www.padsforstudents.co.uk/blog_article/bills-inclusive-vs-excluded-the-pros-and-cons/