How to offer bills included BTR with no risk or liability

Residents want bills included, but how can you offer this without exposing yourself as an operator?

Homebox by Billing Better which offers Build to Rent residents the choice to have bills inclusive packages | BTR News

Residents want the option to have bills included in their rent from Build to Rent developments, which has been highlighted in recent insights from Rightmove. As an operator, the consideration of the additional operational work involved, the risks associated with increasing energy prices, and considering sustainable and responsible energy usage is at the forefront.

By Jack Ray, Founder & CEO, Billing Better

To respond to these considerations and to tenants needs, Billing Better have launched Homebox, a product that allows any home to be rented with bills included without the risks and liability on Build to Rent operators.

More residents want bills included, but less Build to Rent operators offer their homes in this way, why?

It’s not just Build to Rent operators moving away from offering bills inclusive packages to residents. Due to the energy crisis, which is causing an increase in wholesale prices, as well as the Government’s u-turn around the length of support, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to manage a bills inclusive service for Build to Rent operators, traditional letting agents and for landlords. 

So, why Homebox? 

Homebox has been built to give Build to Rent residents the option to rent with bills included. A resident can choose if they want to use Homebox and rent with bills included or if they want to pay their rent and their bills separately independent of Homebox.

Alongside the marketing benefits associated with offering ‘all bills inclusive renting’, operators can offer residents the flexibility to choose without having to manage a bills included development – reducing risk to operators.

Homebox by Billing Better which shows bills, payments and energy usage | BTR News

How does it work?

Homebox collects a single monthly payment for rent and household bills for a resident, with 100% of the rent being paid to the Build to Rent operator, and all the utilities (electricity, heating, water, council tax, TV) paid directly to the suppliers. Funds are collected into our FCA regulated and CMP authorised payment software, which creates a dedicated client account for each property.

The utilities go into the name of the resident and not the operator. This means that operators have limited liability of covering the cost of utility bills if a resident runs into payment issues. Each month, your resident can see their payment in their Homebox account – which includes payments made to all utility suppliers and their rent.

What’s the benefit for my residents?

As well as being able to budget more effectively with a bills included offering, residents will benefit from the following:

Mobile app support: Homebox offers its own mobile app with dedicated, UK based support and full visibility of payments and energy consumption.

Rewarding considerate energy consumption: Not only will residents pay less if they use less energy, but they will also be rewarded with trees planted within our Ecologi Plantation when energy usage is deemed to be responsible and not excessive.

Boosting credit scores with on-time rental payments: Through our integration with the leading credit agencies, we’ll be reporting on time rent payments as an incentive to residents to pay rent and bills on time each month.

How can I get started as a Build to Rent operator?

Book a demonstration with us today – we’ll take you through Homebox and answer questions you may have. Once the demonstration has been completed, an operator is able to create Homebox tenancies within our simple to use portal, before residents receive an instant text and email to help them set up their payments and choose the services they would like to include within their Homebox package.

Once set up, you can view payments within your portal and you will also receive alerts for any non-payments.

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