Below are approximate figures which may change (e.g. can't anticipate electricity bills or help it if council tax rates, etc, change).
I'm happy to show you/ provide copies of bills where there isn't too much admin /hassle involved producing them e.g: happy to show you/give you copies of Water, Council Tax, Virgin Broadband and TV, TV licence, EDF Electricity and Gas bills, etc but don't want to collect receipts for minor things e.g. every cleaning product bought (what I mean by admin) hence fixed figure fee for those.
* Unlikely there will be 4 people, though I have 4 rooms with beds in, but have put it in just incase (most likely if I travel or perhaps short term periods like a month but very unlikely).
- Council tax (fixed cost) is £126 /month divided by 2 or 3 people
3 people = £42 each
(4 people = £31.50)
- Water (Fixed cost unless excessive usage) is approximately £21.50 month (think the single person rate is £20.20 but more for more people) divided by 2 or 3 people
3 people =approximately £7.17 per month
(4 people =£5.37)
- Virgin broadband & TV Package (fixed cost unless rates increase next year)
2 people =£25.50 per month
3 people =£17 per month
(4 people =£12.75)
(This price has just been raised as the promo year is over, one billing I got £48 and one letter said £51 going forward so I will check this. I'm open to researching new providers and deals).
- TV licence:
2 people: £6.47 each per month.
3 people =£4.31 a month
(4 people = £9.70)
- 4) Cleaner Fees:
- A weekly cleaner is best to avoid any annoyance arising between flatmates about who has cleaned what and if the cleaning has been done to a good standard by x individual or not (& helps avoid any of us having to nag -not fun for either side). In my experience everyone says they are very happy to clean on a rota at the viewing but the reality is that the efforts (or lack of) leave a fair amount to be desired. The flat needs to be clean to a reasonable level as determined by the landlord -I'm not OCD. A weekly cleaner (with us all also tidying/ cleaning up after ourselves so as not to leave mess) in my experience works far better than a cleaning rota done (or not done -!-) by flatmates.
- Cleaners tend to be around £11-£15 an hour and each lodger should pay for one hour of cleaning a week. I/the landlord will cover my share of the cleaning either doing the weekly hour myself (I work from home so plenty of time for this) or paying for my share of a cleaner so the total done per week is three hours -this may seem a lot but from cleaning myself I know it can easily take this time to clean properly (disregarding cleaning the bedrooms which can be cleaned if there is time spare).
- I've written a comprehensive cleaning list of all the things that we need to do and how often which I can send if relevant. -it's easy to cut corners and make a place look clean by largely tidying it but not really cleaning it and my experience is that flatmates will just take these shortcuts on a rota or fail to do large chunks, or all of it, so a cleaner is best as I really hate having to remind people (& in my experience I've ended up doing the lion's share most times). I'll choose the cleaner so I can vet someone I'm comfortable with and get ID, etc. If there are any extra chores we need to do then we will just split these. If we find this is too much and we need less then I'm happy to reduce these hours so perhaps each lodger paying for only 45 mins a week -if cleaners can come for only 1.5 hours that is. You are welcome to pay the cleaner directly once we have chosen someone. I think we will easily need three hours -1 hr kitchen (washing floor etc), 1 hour corridors/hoovering, bathroom, 1 hour divided up to 20 mins for a quick hoover and clean of each room. The cleaner may only accept cash not transfers in which case, if she can't give me a receipt, then it is best you pay her directly & email confirmation of this (even if it seems simpler to pay me) as I will need a proper receipt for tax purposes and to prove the cleaner has been paid with the money, etc. Established cleaning companies will be better to use for this reason and re security.
- Approximately £12 a week for each lodger regardless of the number of people in the flat (maybe less hours needed -will see) x 4 = £48/month
- EDF Electricity and Gas (scroll down for more detail):
APPROXIMATE TOTALS of UTILITY BILLS & Cleaner:
- Total for 2 people living in the flat and approximate cost of utility bills and cleaner fee per person is £192.22 per month.* (144.22 utilities & 48 cleaner)
- Total for 3 people living in the flat and approximate cost of utility bills and cleaner fee per person is £144.14 per month.* (£96 utilities & £48 cleaner)
- Total for 4 people -unlikely to have 4 = £126.57, (£78.57 utilities and £48 cleaner).
* Exact figures depends on usage of gas & electricity, other bills are fixed figures (unless changed by the company which is unlikely).
SUMMARY OF ALL:
The only reason I haven't included bills in the total rent figure is to allow for 1) any changes in gas/electricity bills and 2) also for the number of people in the house at any one time (e.g. if we have a period with 2 people verses 3 or 4, etc). Happy to discuss saving us all admin & simplifying things by having a total rent figure and any excess can be refunded or any deficit topped up according to those two variables. This summary includes all & the cleaning products but not the few shared products in number 2 'other costs/bills' section below, (not much) can be added:
Rent & bills approximate:
2 people: £1225(.22)
3 people: £1171(.14)
4 people: £1149(.57)
I (landlord/flatmate) anticipate having 3 people in the flat (myself and 2 lodgers/flatmates) but if I for example travel without renting out my room/s for that month then these bills need to be shared by the lodgers actively living in the flat -i.e. most likely by the 2 lodgers. Likewise if a lodger leaves and there are just two of us we will split bills by 2 for the period that there were only 2 in the house. Detailed more in the contract (5 day absence before it counts so not too much admin).
The house insurance (over £600/year) will be paid by the landlord and not shared with flatmates as is sometimes the case. (Please do not work from home in a notable way, full days etc, as this invalidates the insurance & can also cause legal liability issues).
OTHER COSTS / BILLS (summary here with more details below if interested):
These cleaning products and shared house fees will probably be added to the rent figure as flat costs to avoid time wasting admin.
- 1) Cleaning Products (scroll down for more detail /how calculated):
£7.25 or 29 each between 3 people (more cleaning needed and Cleaner's hours used)
(£6.25/week or £25/month each between 4)
This bill will also be added to the rent instead of being in the bills section as I don't want the hassle of collecting receipts hence it's a flat fee, I haven't added it yet as the figure depends on the number of people in the flat (likely 3). Each cleaning product is on average £4.50 I'd guess, see below if you want details re how this was calculated. I've paid for a full stock/cupboards' worth already hence receipts are also less relevant to start.
Also add the following cash payments (shouldn't be much)....
- 2) Plus Other shared house costs -things we all buy (jar with cash we all put in at beginning of month, receipts added if taken out):
(I'll probably buy loo rolls in bulk on groupon/cheaper -I’ll just email a copy of receipt and add a note to the jar).
Anything unexpected but bought for mutual gain will be added separately later or can have a jar for unexpected costs. Added if can use it up /run out of it but won’t add things I can use for years without it running out. To be done on a common sense basis e.g. will seek consent if a higher priced object and in most cases it will have been mutually requested unless obviously needed and low cost.
Happy to work out a flat fee for these to add to the rent if that is easier and less hassle /time wasting for everyone than the jar idea. I prefer just a flat fee as less admin and nit picking but up to you guys too re this last section (loo roll, etc).
SECTION BELOW = MORE DETAIL ABOUT THE COSTS LISTED ABOVE:
No need to read if happy with costs and don't like detail however please read the section following this one re moving in and out proceedure and guests.
- ADDED TO RENT FIGURE ABOVE ALREADY: Garden (scroll down for more detail): £48 flat fee per lodger fee per month =if sharing gardening tasks. Upon reflection I have removed this from the bills section and added it to the overall rent figure above (since some aspects are maintenance related & it's a flat fee/kind of service charge and not receipt based), either way it's the same cost. Please add this figure onto the rental amount you have seen.
- £48 flat fee per lodger fee per month =if sharing gardening tasks. For basic plant-related maintenance there isn't that much to do -more one off tasks which we can share, I can draw up a rota but I think it's easier that we just see what needs doing at the time as it doesn't need weekly attention (main things are occasionally mowing the lawn, trimming hedge, sweeping leaves, planting flowers, not needed very often). If people enjoy gardening they are free to do more.
I initially thought it would make sense to employ a regular gardener but, having received quotes, I've realised that this will push the costs up much higher than £48/month so this £48/month fee is more to contribute towards some garden-related costs (hence it will probably be added to the rent and deleted here). If a lodger doesn't want to do any gardening that is fine but the cost will be a little higher, to be discussed.
The fee is the same regardless of the number of lodgers in the flat (this helps lodgers budget even if someone moves in/out. etc). It is a fixed maintenance fee as I don't want the hassle of collecting receipts over the years, more maths, etc, to show lodgers so I am just keeping it simple.
I actually anticipate that bills will be higher than this but a fixed fee helps you budget and reduces chance of flatmates disagreeing -e.g: one lodger may want an improvement and be happy to pay, the other not want it, etc. For this reason, the landlord will ultimately decide what improvements are needed and when but obviously open to suggestions.This fixed fee keeps it simple, see details below. This fee helps contribute towards minor costs such as buying plants, flowers, and more expensive one-off jobs that I may need to employ people to do or need to buy equipment to do e.g. re-turfing, cutting tall trees, re-painting the decking (needs a water-pressure clean first -been quoted £500 just for this cleaning & painting process), buying and putting up fence, new gate, etc.
- EDF (Electricity and Gas) -more detail here: bills are additional as there are too many variables to be able to work out what they will be. (Variables: number of flatmates, usage, time of year, severity of the winter, electricity company rates, etc). Happy to provide guidelines re what this may be but this is very approximate, (EDF estimate a rate but my calculations prove that incorrect -full explanation is lengthy so I won't add it here but please email for details). The EDF bill will be divided by the number of people living in the flat*.
EDF have estimated (6/7/18), based on my usage (note this was one person's fairly frugal usage and was away 3.5 of the 13 months) that bills will be £229 per quarter or £77 a month (I think this is a one person rate but may not be -need to clarify). My calculations and explanation below show this is unlikely and certainly not reflective of winter months which will be much more. Happy to share all bills with you and best this is paid according to usage. More detail below which explains why I am hesitant to accept this estimate. (If this £77 per month rate proves accurate -I think unlikely- then it's £38.50 per person if two people living in the flat or £25.66 for three people).
Details re gas and electricity costs so far as a guide (for those who like details -ignore if not):
Currently paid every 3 months though bills below are more sporadic and dependent on when I gave in readings, Below is a guide to my bills over the last year so you can get an idea of costs, this was mainly me living alone (and I am careful, turn lights off when I leave a room, don't leave heating on excessively, over the winter sometimes heated one room with a blow heater verses the whole house and I don’t cook much) so these factors will likely lead to a increase in bills once you have moved in. There will be a difference between lower summer and higher winter bills, impossible to predict the severity of the winter, usage, etc:
Electricity and gas bills I have had over the last year:
9 June-9 July 2017: £14.91 (lived alone, not at home most of this time as the property was just purchased/unfurnished)
10th July-26th oct 2017: £173.22 (lived alone so bills would be higher with more people but also divided amongst more people and so generally lower)
27th Oct-5th Dec 2017: £224 (lived alone, fairly frugal usage)
5th Dec-14th Dec 2017: £32.27 (lived alone)
15th Dec-15th March 2017-2018: £412.81 (nb. No-one was in the house mid Dec-mid to late Jan). 2 people were here 8th Feb on (lodger moved in).
16 March-28 March 2018: £44.71 (2 people in house)
29 March-8 May 2018: £115.54 (2 people in house as lodger was here)
9th May -6th July 2018: £79.47 (lived alone)
7th July -28th August 2018: £66.24 (lived alone)
29th August-25th September 2018: £39.07 (lived alone)
26th of September -29th October 2018: £81.70 (note bill doubled when a lodger moved in, maybe difference as he cooks twice a day (I rarely do), etc. Also a month closer to winter).
Total Gas and Electricity: £1,096.93 for basically one person living here -I was away quite a bit too, around 3.5 months from 9th June 2017 -6th July 2018 (including 6 weeks over the coldest winter period). So bill is for approx 13 months but only there 9 and a half (no bills when absent). 1096 divided by 9.5 = £115 a month for one person being very careful with bills and this is an average rate not higher winter rate or lower summer rate. (There were 2 people for 3 months only -but I was away some of this, maybe 2/3 weeks and not winter).
Consequently I suspect the total rate will be higher for 2 people and more still for three (more in winter than summer) but, of course, that total figure is then divided between two or three for each person’s bills so each person only pays their portion of the total. I don't want to predict rates incase I get them wrong so best you take all this as a guide and bills are just paid according to usage.
Best solution: A predicted figure should be paid in advance with the rent and if you have overpaid I will refund you, if underpaid that money is owing at the end of the month.
Happy/keen to get an electricity and gas smart meter to make calculations and tracking bills easier (did apply for this before & they arrived but didn't install it as the fuze EDF need to access is in the ground floor flat & the neighbours weren't in, can sort this but may take a month or so).
6th July 2018 -Currently agreed one person estimated rate with EDF is £77/month paid quarterly so £229 per 3 months, this is meant to be more for summer bills and less than what winter bills come to so an average over the year but I won't use this system with flatmates who may not stay the whole year (unfair to pay more than you use if here in the summer and vice versa). This £77/month is the rate UNTIL they are given metre reading and then will pay more or less accordingly (it is an averaged rate, more in summer paid, less in winter). In practice I will give EDF readings so it is a what-used agreement as otherwise the bills build up to when you do give a reading.
I don't think EDF's calculations make sense given all of the higher calculations above and, with 2 and 3 people in the house & less frugal usage, the bills will be higher. E.g. look at the bill for 15th Dec-15th March 2017/8 =£412 for only 6 weeks of usage, 8 at most (as I was away mid Dec-mid to late Jan) and there was only myself living there until 8th Feb and then I had a lodger for about 5 weeks of this bill. Perhaps some of the difference arose as she cooked daily, whereas I don't but cooking daily is obviously normal so to be accounted for in your budget. So I don’t think EDF's average estimate of £77 a month is at all accurate after all 6 to 8 weeks usage in mid to late Jan to mid march was £412.
Please use the above information to estimate bills for gas and electricity -this is all the information it is possible for me to provide at this stage. I will be happy to share all bills with you so you will only pay your share of what we have used.
- Things I’ll buy for the house / Cleaning Products -continued/more detail here:
£35 each per month between 2,
£23.33 each between 3 people
Theoretically open to re-considering the cost if it is over, or under, estimated but realistically don't think if I'm organised enough, or have the time to, to keep receipts over several months then highlight the relevant part then add them all up at the end of the month hence will have this estimated figure (which I think is modest considering the last carpet cleaner I bought was £12.95 and was used up on one rug) as the official agreed figure. The fact I’ve got a full store of products at the moment (plus all mops/hoover/carpet cleaner machine/etc, would complicate calculations and think sorting receipts monthly will be a hassle so I think I have done all the consideration I will re this to come up with the educated estimate figure here so best to go with this). Will get a mixture of average products and some natural, non-toxic cleaning products.
The kind of things will include:
1) Sponges for sink, 2) metal sponges/scrubbers for sink, 3) bristle long cleaning wands sink, 4) tea towels, 5) dusters, 6) wipes, 7) marigold gloves, 8) light bulbs, 9) window /glass cleaner, 10) toilet cleaner, 11) sink unblocker, 12) hob cleaner, 13) inside oven cleaner, 14) sideboard cleaner, 15) flash, 16) cleaning towels, 17) replacements for fairy liquid dispensers & 18) mops 19) & carpet cleaner attachments, 20) antibacterial surface protector, 21) bathroom cleaner, 22) kitchen cleaner, 23) oven cleaner, 24) wood floor cleaner, 25) natural carpet salts, 26) natural carpet shampoo, 27) soap, 28) hoover bags, and 29) random one-off things may need e.g. extra dustpans/brushes, etc, 30) various other cleaning products that I have likely forgotten.
E.g. These calculations seem modest especially given the size of the house, hours the cleaner will be doing per week & considering that I prefer to get non-toxic cleaners which cost a bit more but are much better for our long-term health.
- Garden -mentioned above -more detail here:
Best to discuss this extra fee with flatmates who are keen/interested in moving in as I'm open to being flexible re this (some flatmates may love gardening, others hate it or not have the time, etc). We can co-share the tasks or individual lodgers can opt to hire a gardener for their hours. There's not a great deal to do re the actual gardening to maintain a basic standard -unless we want to in which case I am also open to this.
As fixed service charge to cover basic garden costs factor in:
£55 per flatmate/lodger fee per month =if sharing gardening tasks.
If flatmates don't want to garden then a professional gardener's costs will be needed for their share, to be discussed and paid additionally.
The fee is the same regardless of the number of lodgers/flatmates in the flat (this helps people budget even if someone moves in/out. etc). It is a fixed maintenance fee as I don't want the hassle of collecting receipts over the years, more maths, etc, to show flatmates so I am just keeping it simple & won't be providing itemised bills/receipts.
(I actually anticipate my bills will be higher than this over the year -especially when I've factored in the expensive one-off jobs, re-turfing, cutting trees, buying plants, buying or renting equipment to do tasks and so save money paying professionals (e.g. pressure washer), re-decking, maintaining/buying fence, gate, paints, painting, etc, but a fixed fee helps you budget and reduces chance of flatmates disagreeing -one flatmate/lodger may want an improvement and be happy to pay, the other not want it, etc. This fixed fee keeps it simple, see details).
I wanted to get a gardener's quote for the year and divide this into 12 months and between all flatmates -however the more research I do about gardening costs, the more expensive I realise a professional gardener will be -plus all other related costs- (far more than I anticipated). See some of the links below for how I reached this conclusion. I therefore suggest that, although I may employ some professional help when really needed, we all do what's needed the garden to save costs.
Much is obvious & only needed occasionally e.g. leaf clearing, hedge trimming, lawn mowing, etc, which can be done on a group or rota basis. This could be a fun group effort and we could put on some music and chat whilst doing it. If we want to do more than the basics, I've bought two gardening books -both of which tell us what we need to do month by month (as does this link www.thegardenersguild.co.uk/garden_maintenance_advice.html ) and we can consult these to decide what would be good to do.
Of course, if you don't want to do this, you can opt to pay for a professional gardener to do your hours and happy to run through costs /expected hours with you if you prefer this option -plus see links below as a cost guideline. To be fair to the other flatmates, if someone doesn't do their share (or does a bad, rushed job), despite reminders, then they will need to cover the costs for someone else to garden -I want to offer everyone the option to cut their bills though as there isn't that much needed so am sure we can maintain most of this ourselves. All requests will be reasonable -we aren't looking to win the Hampton Court Flower Show but we do want the garden to look good!
Even if we do everything ourselves, including the one-off tasks, we will still need a gardening fund to get materials, buy plants, tools, etc verses hiring a professional.
Useful link: Local gardening centre where we can buy plants, turf, flowers, flower seeds, new soil, weed killer, fertilizer, vegetables if desired, etc, etc: www.alleynpark.co.uk
FYI articles and local services indicating gardener prices:
https://handygardeners.com/prices/ Quite easy-to-read packages.
www.priceyourjob.co.uk/general-garden-maintenance-cost/ General article.
More local prices from another service here: www.gardeningservicesgardeners.co.uk/west-norwood-SE27/
First link handygardeners.com/prices/shows that if get gardeners for maintenance = 2 gardeners for 2 hours each =£97, if do twice a month =£194. https://handygardeners.com/prices/ Would want flower/bush planting & maintenance but not included so may be extra.
Also, at least twice a year, would likely need lawn repair (2 gardeners, 2 hours per visit) =additional £97, extra for seeds, etc -not sure how often need. Extra costs if buy turf, fertilizer, etc. Can see this would add up!
Happy to be open to cheaper prices but best to go with someone qualified/experienced (been advised the rates are often pretty much the same), maybe cheaper not through an agency.
Some months bills will be more than others, some I'll spend far more, others less, so the fee is more over the year. Consequently the following fixed service/maintenance fee is better, and I will decide what's needed for best use of the money, as I don't want a conflict between flatmates re what they think is worth doing. I also want a fixed fee as I don't want the hassle of collecting receipts to show lodgers, etc, etc. I anticipate that my costs will actually far exceed the gardening bills for two and certainly one lodger as I've been quoted e.g £400+ to cut the large trees and a similar figure for re-decking painting (which first requires sanding, a pressure washer, wood treatment and more) and that's just two tasks.
END OF MORE DETAIL SECTION.
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If calling from the abroad: 00 447507 829 341. Please email or text if you don't get through calling.
WhatsApp available on this number. Skype & FaceTime available (please arrange an appointment via text/email).