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Hi there, providing all goes smoothly i am soon to come into possesion of a 4 bed HMO, most hmos in the local area have bills included. I am hesitant to do this thinking they'll be so wastefull and it's a lot of hasstle on my part. Also when i was a tenant i never had bills included. I was thinking of paying for internet only as it's such a delay waiting for that to arive and it can't really be abused. Am i missing a big advantage of having bills included as i just don't get why I'd do that except to compete, however i am confident there are plenty of tenants and lots of demand. Thanks

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Hi there LJ,


It's entirely area dependant but it most there is an expectation from tenants that HMO owners will cover their bills - and you've already said most HMOs in your area offer this.


The reason to include bills is largely administrative. 


Firstly it avoids arguments. Arguing tenants isn't great for them and it's not great for you as you want them all to stay and be happy. Why might they argue about bills? All sorts of reasons from individuals not paying them to arguing about why Mr X is using the bath more than everyone else.


Secondly, whose name would the bills be in? It could be Mr X but what about when he moves out? Are they going to have to go through the painful process of getting the accounts transferred?


Thirdly, who's going to pay? The money would have to be collated by one of the tenants which isn't especially fair on them and could cause arguments (or worse, theft!).


So, how do you avoid your tenants not taking the p*ss with 'free bills'? I'm sure this might be where HMO owners will be able to give you the best advice but you can include clauses such as utility bills in excess of £X on any month will be invoiced equally amongst the tenants (but i'd set this limit quite high because or the arguing will start again). I know that some HMO owners also put meters on things like their tumble dryers. These can be installed by quite a few companies and not only encourage the tenants to act responsibly but may cover a bit of the bills.


I suppose to summarise, thee aren't any huge advantages to you other than you'll get tenants quicker because it's what's expected - you'll also have less of a headache dealing with issues!


I hope this helps,


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