One of the first things you want to do when you move into a new home is get connected to broadband. With more of us working from home and streaming instead of watching live TV, an internet connection has become just as important as a roof over our heads.
But broadband in rented homes isn’t as clear cut as it could be. So we’ve set out to answer the most common questions around the subject.
Some rental properties include broadband so you don’t need to do anything to set it up and it should be included in your monthly costs.
Otherwise, it’ll be your responsibility to set up your broadband. You can arrange a lot of it in advance and arrange installation for move-in day or the day after.
You won’t usually need permission from the landlord or agency for a broadband connection.
The only exceptions are if the property doesn’t have a phone line or if any engineering work needs to happen. Then you’ll need permission, which we suggest getting in writing.
Assuming the property doesn’t include broadband, you probably can move your existing broadband into your new rented property. First, check that your provider can supply the new address. Then as long as there’s no engineering work required, or you get permission for that work, moving is simple.
Just notify your current provider of the move in advance (usually 30 days but check with them as each provider’s timescales are different), book a day for the connection and that’s it!
If a rental includes broadband, then you’ll need to discuss with the landlord or agent whether there’s an option to upgrade the speed or cancel it and use your own provider.
However, upgrades will depend on whether there’s a faster service available. You may find that the broadband that’s there is already the fastest option.
You can use a postcode checker to identify areas with fast broadband. When you’re looking at rented properties, use the postcode checker to identify what’s available at that address to help inform your decision.
Some landlords and letting agencies will also outline what’s available. We’d suggest performing your own checks to verify that before you sign the rental agreement.
Your broadband speed requirement depends entirely on how you use the internet.
For example, if you live alone and will stream movies occasionally and check emails, you don’t necessarily need very fast broadband.
If you have multiple people using the internet at once, work from home or all the above, you’ll need a faster connection.
As a starting point, we recommend fibre optic broadband with an average speed of around 35Mbps at a minimum.
This question is as old as the internet itself and it still doesn’t have a simple answer!
Broadband contracts require a single signatory who’ll be responsible for paying the bills and reporting problems. If that’s you, then you’ll have to pay the broadband bill each month and claim the money from your housemates.
This will usually be done in the same way you divide utility bills. Use standing orders, envelopes of cash or bill splitting apps, whatever works for you.
Most homes in the UK now have access to superfast broadband with a speed of 24Mbps+. It’s only usually rural properties that have issues with slow broadband, so this shouldn’t be an issue you encounter too often. But what can you do if broadband is slow?
We recommend checking your broadband options before you sign the rental agreement to ensure you won’t have to contend with slow internet.
If you move somewhere and your speed doesn’t hit the advertised speed, you can work with your provider to achieve those speeds. If they can’t provide the minimum speed they promised when you signed up, you can leave your contract without penalty.
Before calling your provider to report a fault, ask everyone how they’re using the internet. You may find someone is downloading large files or hogging your bandwidth.
As this is a simple thing to check, we recommend doing this before anything else.
You could also consider mobile internet. If you have a strong 4G or 5G signal at the property, you may be able to access faster speeds by using mobile.
Check for mobile broadband deals with unlimited data though as you’ll always use more than you think!
For more tips check out The Tenants Guide to Renting .