While tenants are increasing seeking them, the number of landlords offering tenancies that come with the cost of bills included in the rental price has plummeted.
Indeed, the number of tenancies advertised as having ‘bills included’ in July 2022 was 90% lower than figures recorded in January 2022, research from lettings tech specialists Vouch found.
There’s been a steady collapse in the number of properties offering fixed costs for rent plus bills, as escalating energy bills discourage landlords from the practice.
Simon Tillyer, chief executive of Vouch, said: “Tenancies where the cost of bills is rolled into one monthly fee have always been relatively common – particularly with student lets or houses of multiple occupancy.
“But the massive, and growing, rise in energy bill costs means that landlords are very reticent to commit to bills inclusive offers.
“With so much uncertainty around just how high costs will go over the next six months, I’m not surprised ‘bills included’ tenancies have pretty much disappeared.
“Tenants and landlords are grappling with a new rental landscape and we’re seeing patterns of behaviour shift accordingly.”
The proportion of tenancies being offered inclusive of bills in January and February of this year was consistent with levels seen throughout 2021.
However, in March, just ahead of the first of the price cap changes in April, numbers dramatically decreased.
A tiny fraction of all tenancies – just 1.75% – were being offered as inclusive of bills by July. This is down from 19.8% of all tenancies in January.
Vouch processes over 10,000 tenancies each month on behalf of tenants across the UK.