Renting a Flats - How Should Flatmates Handle The Bills?

Jul 13, 2020
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By Staff writer

 Ahh, flatting! The freedom, the drama, the hookups, the fights… the parties!

With the new year just around the corner, potential flatmates will have quite the search and struggle ahead of them: Where will you live? Which suburbs have the magical combo of cheap rent AND great cafes? How many bedrooms do you want? Will letting a couple flat with you get weird? Will you guys all get along? Well, we can’t help you navigate flatmate dynamics. But we can help you once you get the call from the landlord that you got the place. (Yessss!)

Once you have a move-in date, call your first flat meeting and hash out the finances NOW. The Government’s Tenancy Services site has an agreement template that will help make expectations crystal clear.

Here are some additional tips and ideas for settling the flat bills:

  • Don’t be that flatmate who is bad with money. Go ahead and set up a weekly or monthly money transfer to the flatmates whose names will appear on the bills. This way, no one can bug you for cash when the bills come in. 
  • Consider what everyone likes to do in their leisure time and choose internet and power plans accordingly. Got a gamer in the house? Or a biz-whizz keen on video conferencing? You might want to consider a fibre connection and convince the flat to go for an unlimited data plan.
  • Keep this in mind: The average household will pay $167 a month for electricity, according to a New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment report. Got a perennially chilly flatmate? You may want to tell him or her to either invest in jumpers or chip in more for the electricity bill.
  • Read the fine print on any internet or power agreement. There are lots of great deals that will last for a few months, then the bill returns to a higher price. Or there may be a cancellation fee if you all decide to up sticks. If you read the T&Cs now, all of you will be better prepared for any situations that arise.

If you can agree on the bills and how much everyone will chip in each month, your flat will stay peaceful and everyone will keep more money in their pockets. That means more money to throw house parties. (Just give your neighbours a heads up, they’d probably appreciate the warning… and an invite).

Cheap bills means happy flatmates. So let Glimp help you! Thousands of Kiwis trust Glimp to discover the best deals on internet, power and credit cards (and save you a little beer money as well). Let Glimp find the best deals for YOU at

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