Setting Up Bills

Many students living in rented accommodation pay for gas, electricity and water charges directly

If you are paying your own bills

If you are responsible for utility bills, ALL tenants will be jointly responsible for payment. You should decide amongst yourselves how you are all going to pay BEFORE a bill arrives. Unipol cannot under any circumstances pay or become involved in disputes about utility bills or phone accounts.

Energy (gas and electricity)

When you move into the property, you must contact the electricity and gas supply companies to put everyone’s name on the bills and provide up-to-date meter readings. You must do this immediately.

Read the meters at the start of your tenancy. Unless stated on your contract, you are responsible for utility bills including gas and electricity. If you see a bill addressed to ‘The Occupier’, open it and follow the instructions below. If the bill is addressed to the previous occupants, you still need to do the following:

  1. Ring the company directly – the number will be on the bill.
  2. Tell them the names of the new occupiers.
  3. Register the bill into your name/s
  4. Give the meter reading you have taken for that day. (You will be billed from this reading onwards).
  5. Keep a record of the first meter reading.

If you do not register with the gas/electric companies, they may call and disconnect your supply, particularly if the previous tenants have not paid their bills. This may happen with little warning. Reconnection can be difficult to organise and the companies can insist on large deposits being paid first. You could be without heating or a power supply for a long time.

If you cannot access your meters (for example, if they are in a locked cupboard) please contact Unipol to arrange a meter reading.

Top tips when setting up your account

Do not put the bills in one person’s name as only this tenant will be liable for the full cost. Bills should always be split equally amongst the number of tenants in the property. If you have already moved in and you are having difficulty with organising payment, make sure the utility company has EVERY tenants names on the bill- you can send them a copy of your Tenancy Agreement for proof of occupancy.

Reading meters

If you are unsure where your meters are located, contact your Housing Management Officer. The meter reading usually consists of a 5 digit number. Each property will have separate meters for gas and electricity, so you need to take 2 readings. You may be receiving both gas and electricity from one company or have a separate supplier for each. If your meters are located outside your property you may need to buy a meter key (from hardware stores) to gain access.

You can find out your gas or electricity supplier by calling;

Gas supplier – contact National Grid UK Meter Helpline on 0870 608 1524.

Electricity supplier - contact the MPAS Consumer Helpline on: 0845 601 3268

Water Charges

Some tenants are required to pay water charges direct to the supplier; others are not. Your obligation to pay water charges is clearly stated in your tenancy agreement. If you are in any doubt about this, ask your Housing Management Officer.

Water in Leeds is provided by Yorkshire Water and in Nottingham by Severn Trent they have a standard charge for your property. You do not have to read a meter for this supply.

  1. Ring the company directly – Leeds 0845 1 24 24 24 or Notts 0845 7 500 500
  2. Tell them that you are the new occupiers
  3. Register the bill into all your name/s

NB A small number of properties are fitted with water meters. Your Housing Management Officer will advise you if you need to take meter readings.

Telephone

If you want to reconnect a phone or have one put in, you should get in touch with BT. You will need Unipol’s permission to install wiring for the first time.

TV Licence

You will need a licence if you are going to watch or record programs as they are shown on live on TV or an online TV service. You also need a licence if you use the BBC iPlayer to download or view programmes on demand.

If you have a TV supplied by Unipol in your living room or kitchen then you don't need a licence to watch this or access iPlayer, but you will still need one if you do so in your own room.

You can find out more on the tvlicensing.co.uk website.

Further advice

Unipol will not get involved in disputes over payment of household bills. If other tenants owe you money, you may wish to seek advice from your Students Union. You would need to contact the utility companies directly regarding any payment disputes.

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