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How To Set Up Your Utilities When Renting

Are you moving into your first rental and want to know what you need for renting a house? From renter’s rights to utility connections, here is your one-stop guide for first-time renters.

What are utilities? Utilities are the essential things for every home, like electricity, gas, and water. Before you start setting up utilities when renting Australia, you’ll have to organise with suppliers to connect the utilities under your name.

What are included in utility bills? There are different rules for who pays the cost of utilities depending on the property and utility types. It’s important to discuss your tenancy agreement with your landlord/agent to find out what is required of you. You should begin researching utility deals before moving into your first property. At Compare and Connect we can help take the stress out of moving by comparing numerous options to find a suitable choice for you and minimise the bills you have to pay when renting.

Know Your Rights - Paying Utilities while Renting

As a tenant, you have the right to live in a safe and secure environment, which means that the property you’re renting maintains all health and safety standards. Each lease comes with a rental agreement that outlines the terms of your lease. This includes the methods of communication, e.g., how much notice before a house inspection is needed to be given.

When you first move into a property, your landlord/agent is legally responsible for providing a condition report of the property. This outlines the state of the house and any issues that need to be addressed before moving in. You’ll be required to pay a bond, which usually accumulates to one month’s rent. This is to ensure that if there is any damage to the property when you move out, that money will be used to cover it. If you move out with no issues, your bond will be reimbursed.

If there are any significant issues that affect the livability of the house that aren’t addressed by the landlord, there are options for you to defend your rights. Check the Consumers Affairs Victoria’s website for a complete list of renter’s rights.

Some of the minimum requirements that are needed to make a house livable are as follows:

  • Access to connect utilities, water, gas, electricity, etc
  • Locks, windows, and correct ventilation
  • Structurally sound and weatherproof
  • Lighting and electrical safety

How Do I Connect My Utilities For My Rental?

You must connect all the utilities you need before you move into your rental. The worst thing you could do is move in and discover you have no power.

To make sure your residential utilities are connected in your name, you need to contact a retailer for gas, electricity, and water. It’s essential to shop around for competitive deals for your rental, alternatively compare and connect can help determine the most efficient, cost-effective plan for you!

All of the utilities should be installed and ready to be connected before moving in. Your landlord is liable for installation costs for essentials such as a gas meter, electricity, and water. If you pay for any connection costs your landlord is responsible for, make sure you’re reimbursed.

What if your utilities don’t have a separate meter? If you’re renting an apartment, for example, you might notice that all of the utilities are measured by one meter. In that case, your landlord is responsible for paying for those utilities as they are liable for the contract.

What bills do you have to pay when renting? You are responsible for the individual usage costs of your utilities. You are the sole person responsible for paying that usage.

Connecting Electricity To A Rental Property

Setting up electricity for an apartment property has never been easier. Simply research what provider you think is best for you and call them to arrange a connection date.

Are you slightly overwhelmed by all of the potential options for energy providers? Try using compare and connect to find the right fit!

Connecting Gas To A Rental Property

Connecting gas to a property can prove to be a little bit more complicated as some companies require 3-5 business days to get those connections active. Depending on your rental property, you may need someone to come out to check the connection. It’s best to research and contact a provider in advance. 

Water For Rentals

To connect water for rentals, simply call your provider to make an account in your name.

If your rental has its own meter, you’re responsible for all water usage. If you don’t have a water connection, contact your landlord/agent.

Don’t Forget To Connect Your Internet

Now, taking control of your internet can sometimes be quite tricky, especially if you’re not aware of your usage. You need to find a good deal for your property, contact the provider and organise a router to be delivered to your home.

If you don’t have a telephone line connected to your rental, talk to your agent/landlord for consent and figure out who covers the cost of installation. There also may be a connection cost depending on the provider. This must be covered by the renter.

What About Repairs?

Repairs are separated into two categories, urgent and non-urgent. Urgent repairs must be attended to by the landlord ASAP. However, non-urgent repairs must be submitted to the landlord/agent and addressed within 14 days of notification.

If your rental requires any urgent repairs that affect the minimum standards of living, and hasn’t resulted from the tenant (e.g., ruptured pipe), It is the responsibility of the landlord to organise and pay for the repairs. If the tenant causes damage to the property, the repair fees would fall on the tenant. If a tenant organises and pays for a repair that isn’t their fault, they must be reimbursed within seven days of the repair being made.

Ensure all requests are dated, signed, and in writing to prevent any issues should they not be addressed. You can download repair request forms from the Consumer Guidelines website if required.

What Kind Of Changes And Compensation Are You Entitled To?

As a tenant, you are protected under your tenancy lease and consumer laws that protect you from any wrongdoing from agents/landlords. Some examples that would entitle you to make a compensation claim is as follows:

  • You suffer loss, damage or significant inconvenience as a result of the agent breaching their lawful duties under the tenancy agreement.

In Victoria, if you have any grievances regarding the integrity of the property or the rental provider, you can contact VCAT for more information on compensation orders.

Need Help Connecting Utilities To Your Rental Property?

It’s imperative to have the proper knowledge before moving into a rental property. With so many choices for utility providers and prices that vary, it can be daunting to decide what’s right for you. Thankfully, there are services such as Compare and Connect that work alongside Australia’s leading providers to find competitive and efficient utilities plans for you! Simply confirm your address, compare and decide which provider and deal you’d like, and have a connection to your rental property in days!