In shared houses where your tenants pay their rent inclusive of bills, it is important to have a way of monitoring usage, especially with recent increases in energy prices. You can't enforce a fair usage policy since the Tenant Fees Act 2019, but there are other ways of keeping a check on the bills: 
1) Use a remote heating control system - tenants have to be able to control their heating by law, but it is ok to set limits on the temperature. We monitor these on behalf of our landlord clients as part of our full management service 
2) Regular inspections - keep an eye out for electric heaters as these can send electricity bills sky high! We inspect communal areas once a month and rooms every six months, however if there has been a significant rise in the electricity bill then we will plan an additional inspection to see if we can find out the cause 
3) Increase rents - you may need to look at your room rates and increase accordingly. As rooms come free, we have been putting up the rent each time to get ahead of energy price increases. If you wish to increase the rent of a current tenant there is a specific process to follow. It's not complicated, but it does have to be done right. We do this as part of our full management service 
If you'd like help managing your tenants, your property or your whole portfolio, please call us on 01937 206000 to find out how we can help 
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