Your guide to broadband in rented accommodation


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What do you do about broadband if you’re planning to move into a new rented property? Do you take yours with you? Install a new line in your rented property? How does it all work? This post aims to answer many common questions we see around broadband in rented accommodation.  You should know all you need to know about the subject by the end!

Are tenants expected to sort out the broadband contract?

In most rentals, it’s up to the tenant to arrange broadband.  There are exceptions where the landlord lives on-site and has an existing connection or in an HMO with a current arrangement. For most rented properties you’ll come across, it’s up to you to arrange your broadband connection and your energy supplier You can shop around, buy the broadband you need and control everything yourself.

What broadband can I get in a rental?

The type of broadband you can get depends on the property and its location. You’ll need to consult a broadband checker to see what’s available. Simply enter your postcode with a broadband comparison website and check the availability of products. Then decide how much speed you need. The more people in the household, the faster broadband you should buy.  The same applies if you or someone else works from home and has many video calls or online meetings.

How does broadband installation work in a rented property?

Broadband installation is accessible on all but the tiniest minority of properties. Most rentals in the UK have a line already, so even an essential broadband connection should be quick and painless to install. It should require no engineering work or invasive installation, which is good news for your damage deposit! If you do move somewhere with no existing phone line or broadband connection, make sure to get written permission from the landlord or agency beforehand. Installation is a modest hole in the wall with a wall box. It’s nothing major, but having permission in place saves any problems when it comes time to move out.

Can I take my existing broadband with me when I move?

Yes, you should be able to take your existing broadband with you when you move. The only exception would be if you didn’t have an existing connection (rare) and the landlord won’t give permission. Or if your ISP doesn’t provide services at your address. For example, you are moving out of a cabled area for Virgin Media or moving out of Yorkshire for KCOM.

Moving broadband is easy:

  1. Contact your provider once you have a firm moving date
  2. Arrange the move and engineer visit if necessary
  3. Complete all the paperwork required to move the connection
  4. Make sure you’re home when the engineer visits

Not all broadband installations need an engineer. Any home with a recent broadband connection shouldn’t need a visit and send a router by post. The provider should be able to tell you all that when you book. If you don’t need an engineer, all you need to do is connect the router and follow the setup instructions that come with it.

What if the landlord or other tenants have a broadband contract that doesn’t suit my needs?

This can be common in situations where you’re moving into an HMO or into a property where the landlord lives on site. We recommend checking the broadband status and other bills before you commit to moving into an HMO or with the landlord if you think it might be a problem. If the current broadband package isn’t fast enough or doesn’t have a feature you need, discuss it with the other tenants or the landlord. They may agree to upgrade or change as long as you cover any cost difference. Be aware, though, that switching to a different provider may or may not be possible depending on whether the current contract is still within the fixed term or not.

What if I have to share broadband with others?

For 99% of tenants, there is no real risk involved with sharing a broadband connection with other people. However, if you’re working from home or are very security conscious, you may want to invest in a VPN to protect your part of the connection. A VPN installs onto your computer or phone and encrypts all traffic going to and from it. If someone looks at your connection to see what you’re doing, they would see nothing but scrambled traffic. 

VPNs are cheap and plentiful and are a helpful precaution for anyone, especially if you access the internet from cafes or airports. Your other option is to use a second broadband connection or mobile internet. Both offer the privacy and security you’re looking for but will be more expensive than a VPN. You do have the advantage of a dedicated connection all to yourself, though.

Ref: THSI-2659ZD. 23821

 


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