Just over half of tenants surveyed about the cost of living want their rent to include all their utility bills, it has been revealed.
Some 2,400 renters were quizzed by alternative deposits platform Zero Deposit, with 41% saying they found paying their house bills, managing their finances and juggling multiple bills ‘stressful’ and 55% saying they’d prefer it was rolled into their monthly rent.
But this desire to have ‘fixed cost’ renting of this kind does not match up with housing market supply, within which just 12% of rented properties are advertised to rent this way.
And unsurprisingly, 44% said they would be more likely to rent a property if bills were included versus a property that didn’t.
The number of properties advertised with ‘bill included’ rises the further north you go. Nearly a quarter of those in the East Midlands come with the promise while it’s 17% in the West Midlands and 16% in the North West. London performs less well at 10% but only 9% of properties advertised in the South East are ‘all inclusive’.
“Tenants across the nation are struggling with rental affordability at present and this struggle isn’t refined to asking rents and rental deposits alone,” says Sam Reynolds (pictured), CEO of Zero Deposit.
“Once they have managed to secure a rental home of their own, they are facing a sharp increase in the monthly cost of their utilities as well.
“But it’s not just the cost that can be a daunting prospect, understanding their utility bills and juggling their finances to ensure they are paying the right people at the right time is also a factor - not to mention the rigmarole involved when it comes to the start and end of a tenancy.”
‘Bills included’ properties are likely to be in the news again this Winter – last year landlords who run HMOs, student houses and BTL developments were warned by the Government to pass on that year's energy bills relief payments to their tenants and not, as one Labour MP claimed without providing direct evidence, pocket the extra cash.