Managing Utility Bills: Guide for Tenants and Landlords

So there you go, finally venturing out on your own and being independent. Got a job that pays you enough to afford your own place but have you figured out your finances when it comes to home management?

No we are not just talking about home maintenance, but we are also talking about managing your bills. Regardless of whether you are the tenant or the landlord, knowing how to manage your bills to manage your monthly budget is important.

What bills are we talking about? This blog will be elaborating on important things you need to know about utility bills when renting in Malaysia. Here are what we’ll cover:

  • What Are Utility Bills?
  • What Are Utility Deposits? 
  • Who Should Settle The Monthly Utility Bills?
  • How To Change Utility Bills Name?
  • How You Can Pay Utility Bills?
  • How To Check Utility Bills Online?
  • What Happens To Overdue Utility Bills in SPEEDHOME?

What Are Utility Bills?

It is a common enough term that most would have heard of it in passing but what exactly is a utility bill? In layman’s terms, utility bills mean the costs generated from everyday usages of electricity, water, gas and other miscellaneous costs.

Examples of utility bills in Malaysia besides the usual trio of electricity, water and gas bills, utilities also include waste disposals and recycling. Waste disposal services usually would do their rounds three times a week and as for recycling, it will come once a week (usually on weekends).

Naturally when it comes to rented house utility bills will either be part of the monthly rental cost or a separate cost that should be paid on a monthly basis.

What Are Utility Deposits?

In relation to utility bills, tenants and landlords would be familiar with utility deposits. Utility deposits are charged by the landlords to the tenants to safeguard the property from default utility bill payments.

Thereby the landlord will have the right to cut off the cost of the utility bill from the utility deposit. Landlords normally would set 1 to 2 month’s worth of rent as the utility deposit from the tenants.

Utility deposits are usually included in the tenancy agreement along with other payments needed from the tenants. Utility deposits vary for each property depending on the property type, voltage level, and tariff category. So don’t be surprised if the utility deposit can go up to RM1000.

Who Should Settle The Monthly Utility Bills?

The golden question when renting is who should settle the monthly utility bills? Is it the tenants or the landlord’s responsibility?

The answer would be; it can be either party. You read that right in Malaysia it can be either the tenant or the landlord settling the monthly utility bill BUT it has to be written in the Tenancy Agreement.

If it is agreed upon that the tenants will do the paying then it will be listed under the Tenant’s Obligation section of the agreement, likewise, if it is decided that the landlord will settle it then it will be under the Landlord’s Obligation.

How To Change Utility Bills Name?

Whether you are the tenant or landlord, you might want to change the utility bill’s account name to the current tenant. Is it necessary? No, but it does make documentation easier for both parties.

So how do you go about changing the name? A Change of Tenancy can easily be done by applying for it from the respective institutions. 

For example, if you live in Peninsular Malaysia and want to change your electricity bill account name, then you can either do it over the counter at any Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB) branch or via the myTNB Portal, just follow these easy steps to change TNB account name.

If you plan to do it over the counter at any branch, remember to bring along these documents;

  1. Bring photocopy SNP, first two pages and last page (signage of seller and buyer page)
  2. Photocopy of IC
  3. Latest bill (if any)
  4. Cash or debit/credit card for deposit purposes. (Deposit amount depends on electric phase type).
  5. If there is any outstanding bill, they will deduct from the previous owner’s deposit (Previous owner must come to collect the deposit by themselves).

How You Can Pay Utility Bills?

How to pay utility bills online

Now that you have settled everything with the bill accounts, it is time to know how you can pay the utility bills. Although there are various bills to settle this is a rough guide for the basic ones such as electricity bills and water bills;

  1. Electricity;

For Peninsular Malaysia the only electricity provider is TNB, while Sabah has Sabah Electricity (SESB) and Sarawak is under Sarawak Energy (SEB).

For TNB electricity payment, they have several options available such as;

  1. MyTNB (official mobile application)
  2. Kedai Tenaga (TNB Customer Service Centres)
  3. TNB AutoPay Payment Facility (Monthly debit of your debit/credit card)
  4. TNB Direct Debit Bill Payment Facility (Debit of your bank account)
  5. Cheque/postal order (old-school method through post)
  6. Post offices and one stop centres
  7. ATM and Cash Deposit Machines (CDM)
  8. Over the counter and Internet Banking/Phone Banking for participating banks
  9. TNB JomPAY (internet/mobile banking)
  10. PayQuik kiosks
  11. eBulk Pay, a bulk payment scheme specially for government/private head offices

Electricity payments for Sabah;

  1. Over the counter payment at any SESB branch offices.
  2. SESB machine kiosks
  3. Online payment through ocs.sesb.com.my
  4. Online banking
  5. ATM and CDM

Electricity payments for Sarawak;

  1. Over the counter payment at any SEB branch offices
  2. Online payment through SEB website (https://sebcares.sarawakenergy.com.my/eServices3/index.html/#/login)
  3. Online banking
  4. Payment using Paybills Sarawak
  5. ATM and CDM
  1. Water;

Different from the electricity that has one provider, water has different providers per region but the water bill payment methods available are similar;

  1. Over the counter payment at respective water provider branch offices
  2. Online banking
  3. Payment via official water provider websites
  4. Post offices and one stop centers
  5. ATM and CDM
  6. Using JOMPay

How To Check Utility Bills Online?

How to check utility bills online

Before you go ahead and start with the payment, you first have to know what is the amount you have to settle. To do so you need to check your bills which are usually mailed to the house but on the rare chances that the mail gets lost or the bill institution decides to go environmentally-friendly, you can also check your utility bills online.

So how to check utility bills online?

For an online electricity bill, namely for TNB you can either use the MyTNB (official mobile application) or go to their online portal.

There you can retrieve a TNB bill online, check on your amount of usage, check your TNB meter reading and even make payments straight using online banking or transfer. No worries if you prefer to pay physically you can do so as well, just flash the online bill using the app or portal to the attendant and make your payments.

Moving on, how to find your online water bill? Similarly, you can check via the official portal or mobile application of your region’s water provider or like Selangor (Air Selangor) has enabled bill retrieval using Whatsapp.

What Happens To Overdue Utility Bills in SPEEDHOME?

As most SPEEDHOME customers would already know, rental payments are collected by SPEEDHOME so the landlords would not have to chase after the tenants. Utility bills on the other hand are collected by the landlord directly from the tenant.

However, what would occur when there are overdue utility bills? Once a landlord has subscribed to any of the insurance plans on SPEEDHOME, they can file claims up to RM3000 for unpaid utility bills under inconvenience benefits.

How do you file the claim? It’s easy! simply submit the documents below to SPEEDHOME and we’ll take care of the rest. The disbursed amount will be transferred to your account by Allianz!

Utility bills claim speedhome

On another note, SPEEDHOME’s protection for landlords is not limited to unpaid utility bills alone. SPEEDHOME landlords also enjoy protection against minor damages, loss of rental, theft and many more. Find out more on SPEEDHOME’s insurance protection plans and safeguard your house today!

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