If you’re old enough to recognise the screeching sound of dial-up internet, then you have our respect. For only those who sat there patiently waiting while the phone line tapped into the web know of the real digital struggle.
These days, jumping online is eminently more manageable than it was 20-plus years ago. A broadband connection has almost become as important to us as having electricity and gas in our homes.
But if you’re renting your home, who pays for the broadband – you or the landlord? In this guide, we’re covering everything you need to know about broadband when you rent a home, from who pays to the options available.
Who pays for broadband?
You'll want to know about the internet connection before you've even got the keys to your new home. Is broadband already in the property, do you need to get it installed, do you have to pay for it or does the landlord front the costs?
The answers you seek depend on the type of home you move into and the landlord’s preferences. Some landlords prefer to include utilities in the monthly rental price, which can also cover broadband. However, most landlords leave it up to the renter to arrange and pay for their broadband installation and connection.
Before moving in, check with the landlord if broadband is included (it should already be noted in the property description) and look at the tenancy agreement. The AST (assured shorthold tenancy) states the key aspects of the rental, including who is responsible for bills such as gas, electricity, the TV licence and broadband.
Broadband in Build-to-Rent
Build-to-Rent is becoming an increasingly popular option for renters who want a holistic renting experience, and many operators include broadband in their homes. It’s usually superfast broadband, too, which means you’re ready to go as soon as you’ve turned the keys in the front door.
Again, Build-to-Rent communities that include broadband will usually advertise the service when you’re searching for their properties. You can also use Movebubble’s search feature to only show homes where bills are included.
Can you choose any provider?
If you’re responsible for getting broadband in your home, then the good news is that you’ve got carte blanche when it comes to providers – depending on who’s available in your neighbourhood. Head over to a comparison website and enter a few details, such as your postcode, to get the available options in your area.
You can choose the type of service you want, whether it’s standard broadband or superfast options, as well as your download limits. Just remember: faster speeds and fewer download limits mean a higher monthly bill. However, providers typically offer new customer deals with handy discounts.
How much does broadband cost?
The price you pay for broadband depends on the type of package you choose. Britain is the 71st cheapest nation in the world for broadband costs, which isn’t great, but you can pick up deals for as little as £5.99 per month on the most basic packages.
On average, expect to pay around £30 per month for a superfast connection and unlimited download speeds. Contracts usually last for about 12 months, though 24-month options are available. Monthly prices may be lower on longer contracts, but you also commit for the long term.
What about your existing connection?
It may be the case that you’re moving from one home to another and already have a broadband connection. As long as the provider services your new postcode, you should be able to transfer the service. Doing so won’t affect your monthly price, but some internet providers restart the contracts when you move – something to look out for when you’re going through the process of renting.
How to check your area’s broadband speed
Of course, the one thing that we all really care about is speed. There’s nothing worse than a slow connection that takes an age just to load up a basic website. Broadband speeds in the UK are sporadic at best, with London being somewhat of a mixed bag.
There are plenty of websites where you can check broadband speeds, including Fast.com, which is powered by Netflix – and let’s face it; binging without interruption is all we really care about when it comes to your connection.
Having a broadband connection is an essential requirement for the overwhelming majority of us, and it’s handy to know if you or the landlord is responsible for the connection. Whether you pay for broadband or the landlord includes it in the rent, having reliable speeds means a hassle-free internet experience that only adds to the enjoyment of living in your new home.