Make sure your Tenant registers with the appropriate utility services. If your Tenants are responsible for utility bills it’s your responsibility to make sure they transfer all the appropriate utility accounts under their name. This includes services like gas, electricity, water and any other utility bill.
Even if your Tenant assures you they have taken care of the matter, you should still check yourself, otherwise you could end up with the bills yourself.
It is good practice to ensure that your Tenancy Agreement has a clause which covers the sharing of information in relation to the Tenancy and then to send a copy of the AST to all the utility companies along with the meter readings with 28 days of the start of the tenancy.
Some Tenants actually pay their bills but leave them in the name of the Landlord or a previous Tenant.
Section 45 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 has made it the joint responsibility of the Landlord and the Tenant to pay any water charges. If the Landlord does not give the water provider the details of the Tenant within 28 days of the start of the Tenancy the Landlord may be held liable for any outstanding payments.
The Landlord cannot insist on a Tenant using a particular utility supplier, unless the Landlord is paying the bills, but there should be a clause in the AST requiring the Tenant to inform the Landlord if the supplier is changed.