Tenant guide: Paying household bills for your student house

If you have opted to pay your own household bills follow our top tips to help you navigate setting up, splitting and managing the bills. Keeping it simple and on the best deal.

What bills do you need?

Broadband –

For any Highfield properties we recommend TOOB.
They are local company with a dedicated account manager at an affordable price.

For properties in Polygon and Portswood (except 7 properties that are unserviceable) TOOB full fibre home broadband is included with your rent.

Gas and Electricity –

Likely to be your biggest expense. It’s normally cheaper and easier to combine together in a dual fuel tariff with the same energy provider. Compare the beset deals on Uswitch.

Popular choices by our tenants are: Rebel; Shell and Octopus.

Avoid student bill-splitting companies. They overcharge and limit your options. It’s easy and far cheaper to go direct to the suppliers.

When you first move in, the house will almost certainly be supplied (so you can switch on the lights, shower and use the oven). Find out who your suppliers are here: Find My Supplier.

Your provider will use meter readings to determine how much energy you’re using. Take photos of your meters (including the reading and serial number) and send readings as soon as you move in and then every month or quarterly from then on.


Unlike other utilities, there is no shopping around with water suppliers. There is only one supplier for Southampton – Southern Water

TV Licence

Do you need one? Technically NO if:

  • Using a device that is functioning on its own battery power
  • Your parents have a TV Licence
  • Your parents’ home address is your main address
    (where you live when you are not living at University)

Have a read of this official press release by TV Licence

Contents Insurance

You are responsible for insuring valuable items like your laptop and phone. You may be covered by your parents’ policy, so ask them to check their policy. Check out some of these options:

Council Tax

It you’re a full-time student, you don’t have to pay any council tax. We provide a list of tenant to Southampton City Council and they cross check with the Universities. So you probably wont need to do anything. But, if you get a letter you will need to apply for an exemption.

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