"Many tenants feel like they’ve lost control of their monthly outgoings; it’s understandable that a large proportion would even opt for such a property over one that doesn’t offer this added convenience"
- Sam Reynolds - Zero Deposit
New research from Zero Deposit found that while over half of renters would prefer to have the cost of their household bills included within their monthly rent, just 12% of available stock on the market comes with this added convenience across England.
Zero Deposit surveyed over 2,400 tenants on their thoughts towards bills-included rentals, as well as looking at what level of current rental stock available on the market came with the additional benefit.
The research found that 41% of tenants find the task of organising and paying their utility bills stressful.
With the cost of running our homes remaining high and expected to climb higher next year, it’s no surprise that general affordability was the biggest contributing factor when it comes to tenant stress levels over utilities.
Having enough money in the right accounts at the right time also ranked high, followed by understanding new bills and why they had changed, organising each bill at the start and end of a tenancy and having to deal with multiple suppliers.
As a result, Zero Deposit found that 55% of tenants would prefer to have their utility bills included in the price of their rent. What’s more, 44% said they would be more likely to rent a property if bills were included versus a property that didn’t.
However, for tenants in search of such convenience, finding a bills-included rental property could be a tough task.
Zero Deposit analysed current rental market stock listed on Zoopla and found that just 12% of those listed across England currently offer the additional draw of having the bills included within the asking rent.
Tenants have the slimmest chance in the South East where bills included rentals account for just 9% of current stock, with London also home to some of the lowest availability at 10%.
But there is hope for those in the East Midlands, where as many as 22% of all current available rental properties come with the cost of bills included within the asking rent.
The West Midlands (17%) and North West (16%) also rank high in this respect.
Sam Reynolds, CEO of Zero Deposit commented: “Tenants across the nation are struggling with rental affordability at present and this struggle isn’t refined to asking rents and rental deposits alone. 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.
"So it’s hardly surprising that so many would prefer to have their utility bills included within the cost of renting. Many tenants feel like they’ve lost control of their monthly outgoings; it’s understandable that a large proportion would even opt for such a property over one that doesn’t offer this added convenience.”