Connection of services
If you are setting up a place you will definitely have to pay for service connections. If you are moving into an already established house, you may have to pay the outgoing tenant for their share of the connection fees. If you do have to pay, make sure you get receipts that specify what the payment is for.
Electricity and gas
You need to nominate a person whose name will be on the electricity and gas accounts, who will be responsible for paying the bill on behalf of the house.
There are a number of electricity retailers, so make sure you do your research to find out which option is most suitable for you. To find a retailer or compare prices, visit http://www.energymadeeasy.gov.au/ or phone the Energy Information Line (see Contact Points). Most gas retailers also provide electricity and it might be cheaper to combine the two.
If a technician is required to install the telephone line, the landlord is not required to pay the instalment fee, unless you were told that the house had a telephone line. However, you should try and negotiate with your landlord to pay for all or part of this cost.
If there is a phone line already installed, then you may have to pay the connection fee. You should shop around for a suitable option for a share house, for example, multiple numbers on the one line which can be billed separately.
It is your and your housemates’ responsibility to arrange the internet, as the landlord is not required to provide an internet connection.
In most cases, sharing the internet connection with your housemates will be the cheapest option. If you decide to share the internet with your housemates, make sure that you are aware of how much time your housemates spend online. A number of internet providers such as TPG and iiNet provide unlimited internet access at relatively cheap prices. This option might be suitable if you live in a large household and you don’t want to fight over the internet credit.
Another option is getting a USB stick that allows you to connect to the internet anywhere. Since you don’t have to share the internet with your housemates, it can help avoid disputes over internet usage. However, it is usually a lot more expensive and slower than broadband, so if you spend a lot of time on Facebook looking at your friends’ holiday photos, consider sharing broadband with your housemates instead.
You should also consider if you want to sign up for a contract (usually for 2 years) or pay as you go. While it is a lot cheaper to go on a contract, you might have to pay the break fee if you decide to end the contract early.
You should also consider ‘bundling’ your internet and telephone services, which will be cheaper than organising them separately. Getting the internet connection may take up to 3 weeks, so arrange it in advance if possible.