As the cost of energy, food and fuel continues to impact on household incomes, properties for rent with utility bills included have become more desirable, says Rightmove. According to the property portal, the phrase “bills included” has become the second most popular search term on its site, so far in 2023.
Top of the wish list remains “pets allowed”, reflecting the struggle some renters have to find a property which permits dogs and cats, in spite of growing moves to remove blanket pet bans from tenancy agreements.
The desirability of bills included-rental properties replaces searches for furnished properties and properties with a garage, which previously took second and third place in Rightmove searchers’ priorities.
For Tim Bannister, property data expert at Rightmove, all-inclusive properties are extremely popular in the current market. "Any landlord able to offer this to a tenant is likely to be met with a long queue of applicants,” he said.
Bills-inclusive rental homes are more often found in the build to rent property sector, which tends to target students and has on-site facilities such as gyms. While these properties offer the simplicity of having all regular payments in one place, rents can be linked to inflation, meaning tenants still need to factor in rising costs.
Lobby group, Generation Rent warns that while bills-inclusive properties save the hassle of dealing with energy companies, they remove the option of cutting down on costs by reducing energy use. It also can be difficult to work out whether the deal is a good one or not, says the group.
Read more about this story on the BBC website.