A flatshare Birmingham arrangement is a viable option for managing the costs of living in a city where the rents are going up each year. But it is precisely because of money issues that most flatshare arrangements turn ugly. Depending on the tenancy agreement, some bills are paid collectively, while others are paid individually.
What are these common bills you need to plan for?
- Water bills paid monthly
- Electricity and gas paid monthly on a pre-paid tokens meter
- Council tax paid monthly
- Landline phone bill if there is one in the house, paid monthly
- TV license paid monthly, quarterly or annually as you prefer
How can you manage costs in a flatshare for a smoother stay?
Paying bills on time
Apart from the fact that not paying your share in a collective bill raises conflict, there is also the fact that you can get a bad credit rating. If you are registered as part of a payment that gets late, or defaults, your credit rating will suffer.
Some payments have legal implications. If you don’t pay your council tax or TV license fees on time, you could suffer legal consequences including penalties and fines.
Sharing your bills
It is important to sort out this issue at the beginning of the flatshare arrangement. All the flatmatesshould sit and list down all collective bills. The landlord can assist to list what needs to be paid for, how frequently, and the estimates for the payments. The total cost of the bills should then be divided among the flatmates. It is a good idea to put a person in charge of the bills, even if the arrangement is to be on a rotational basis.
Keeping records of flatmates’ payments is essential. This can be done on a simple spreadsheet. You can also use an app to track the payments.
Opening a joint account
An alternative to havingflatmatestake responsibility for managing the bills would be to open a joint account. Each flatmatecan then make his/her contribution to this account monthly. The bills are paid by Direct Debit from this account.
Some bills need to take priority over others. Council tax and TV license have to be paid immediately on taking up the flat since failure to pay them has legal consequences. Water, electricity, andgas follow to make the flat livable.
A flatshare Birmingham arrangement is one of the more interesting living experiences you can get in this multi-cultural city. Manage your flatsharecosts and enjoy the stay.