Utilities, phone & internet
What are utilities?
Utilities companies deal with the delivery, production and service of natural assets. Generally, "utilities" refers to services such as water, electricity and gas which are connected to your house and home.
What are you responsible for?
Where separate meters are provided, tenants are responsible for connection and usage of water, electricity and gas. Tenants are also responsible for connection and payment of the telephone account. The cost of gas, electricity and water is your landlord's responsibility if separate meters are not available at your property. Tenants are not responsible for water service charges or local council rates. The landlord is responsible for carrying out repairs to appliances, fixtures or fittings that supply water to the property.
Arranging utility connection
The tenants who previously lived in your new property should have disconnected utility services on their departure from the property. To arrange connection, you should contact utility companies three days before you move in to your new property. This way you can ensure that services are connected when you arrive.
Be prepared to pay a connection fee in your first bill for the connection of services like telephone and electricity.
Do your research
Make sure you research your utility providers thoroughly, including the terms of your contract and financial implications of ending it early (if the need arises). The State Government of Victoria has a very useful service called Your Choice for comparing utilities providers.
Mobile and Internet
Another good place to help you figure out which internet provider is best for you is Whirlpool. This community-based forum is a one-stop reference point for information on:
- Internet service providers (ISPs) and utility providers
- Reviews on their services and products; and
- General tips, reviews and feedback on various products and services, eg. mobile phones, cameras and even washing machines.