Paying student bills: How to do it – and fairly

Posted November 7, 2015 by Student Profit Staff

Sorting out how to pay your monthly bills in a student house isn’t fun and can prove to be a real headache.

Here we look at just how to organise your student bills and easy solutions to getting them paid with the minimum of hassle.

student bills 2

Deciding who’s liable for paying the bills

One of the first things you must do is decide who is legally responsible for the bills. This is important as if they are not paid those responsible are liable for any outstanding balance and could, in a worst case scenario, find themselves with debt collectors after them or even in court.

Rent with inclusive bills

Firstly, check if you even need to worry about bills: Some rents will be inclusive of bills (or at least things like the gas, water, etc.) in which case you can forget all about it.

Landlord controlled bills

Quite rare but in some cases your landlord may take responsibility for the bills but ask you to pay monthly separately from your rent. You’ll still need to sort how to pay, below.

Put everyone’s name on each bill

If everyone’s name is on the bill then it makes you all equally liable, this is considered the fairest way should there be any problems.

Each person has one bill

Another somewhat fair option is to put a different person’s name on one bill, however there may be quite some differences in the amounts owed which could cause arguments.

Put one person’s name on all the bills

If someone wants to take up this role, it’s definitely the easiest way out but does leave them and them alone completely liable for any outstanding monies.

How to pay student bills

Once you’ve decided who’s liable, it’s then a case of organising how to pay.

paying student bills

Set up a shared bank account

Split the bill total by the number of you each month and every person pays in that amount to the bank account. Nominate a person to make sure the bills get paid each month from the account (easiest way is just to set up a direct debit). If no one wants to it permanently, take turns.

Everyone pays one person

If there is someone responsible and you all trust in your group, consider putting them in charge of the money (if they want to be). Each housemate then pays them directly and they pay the bills on everyone’s behalf.

Pay in cash

Another option – without the paperwork involved of setting up a joint bank account – is to pay the bills in cash together at a Paypoint (found in most newsagents and post offices)

Get the best deal

One you’ve decided who will be responsible and how payments will work, you’ll then to find out how to get the best deals on student bills to save as much cash as possible.


  • Lily Lau

    Great post, I already knew some of these things but others were totally a surprise! I’m one of those people who, for example, buy lots of food in bulk and sometimes has to throw some things that went to waste. Thanks for the advice, I’m trying to save as much money as I can cause I want to go to the last hotel to this post, in Paris… it’s the cheapest of the most expensive ones!

  • Peter

    Your post fails to mention two crucially important points:

    1. A student watching TV programmes, on an unplugged device without an external aerial, is normally already covered by the TV licence of their non-term-time address.

    2. In student houses of multiple occupation, more than one TV licence might be required depending on the circumstances.

    In all circumstances, as you say, a TV licence is only needed for those properties where equipment is installed or used to receive TV programmes.

    Much more information in our free ebook, TV Licensing Laid Bare: