Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert's four tips for renters including how to save hundreds on bills and get free furniture

RENTING can be an expensive endeavour but Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert has come up with ways to slash the spends.

From saving hundreds on your utilities bills, to bagging freebies to kit out your kitchen, we've narrowed down four examples of the experts' advice.

The tips were shared in the latest instalment of the MoneySavingExpert newsletter.

There's over 50 tricks and nifty ideas to help tackle rising rates that the experts have shared in total.

But we've narrowed down the ones we think tenants should take up first – especially if they want to start saving pennies next time the rent is due.

The team explained that it typically costs a whopping £1,000 a month to rent, which is on top of the already soaring costs of bills and more.

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Energy bills alone have seen a 54% increase since the price cap rise at the beginning of the month.

The limit rose from £1,277 to £1,971 for a year – an increase of £693 for the average household, though the exact cost can vary depending on your use.

And these aren't the only price rises the UK has faced – food costs are also rocketing due to inflation, and what you have to pay in tax has gone up for many too.

Here's what you can do to save on spends in your rented home:

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Switching to a water meter

Switching to a water meter could save you £100s a year, but some renters aren't sure if they're allowed to take the plunge.

The Water Industry Act says if you have a fixed-term tenancy agreement of over six months, and you pay your water bills, you don't need your landlord's permission to get one installed.

It is a courtesy to discuss it though, as you can't usually have a water meter uninstalled.

Before you dive in, Martin's biggest tip was to do a count of all the bedrooms in your home.

If there are more of those than people, you might want to start thinking about getting a water meter.

If you're not on a meter then your bills are estimated, so you pay a fixed amount depending on your home's size – but if there's not many of you showering in a big empty home you could be overpaying.

You can use a water meter calculator to estimate how much you could save before committing to the meter too.

A Martin Lewis fan managed to make a saving of £360 a year by using a meter to pay his water bills.

They were paying £56 a month but they managed to more than halve that direct debit to £26 when the water company got a more accurate hold of their usage.

Of course if you use lots of water, a meter won't help and you could end up paying more if you were to get one.

Free furniture

The MoneySaving team explained that if you've moved into your new digs but it's empty, there's ways you can furnish the place for free.

Online giveaway sites such as Freecycle can help you find what you need.

Other consumers list their old stuff on the site which you can brows and end up furnishing your home for free with sofas, beds, sofa beds, TVs & more. 

When we looked on the site you could claim garden furniture and even office desks too.

One fan of Martin's wrote in to the team to share his success with a freebie that should have cost over £100.

Henry B tweeted: "@MoneySavingExp I got a Robin Day 675 chair on Freecycle."

The experts also recommended checking out what cheap deals you can score on eBay too, as second hand furniture can usually be bagged for a bargain price.

Particularly hard-up families can get free or cheap essential items such as cookers and fridges as the cost of living continues to soar as well.

The donations, or discounted items, are provided by charities, non-profit organisations, the Government and some companies usually in the form of grants.

But you may only be able to claim if you meet certain requirements.

For example, you may need to already receive certain benefits or suffer from illnesses or disabilities.

Discounts on council tax

The savings experts explained that you should check if you're due a council tax discount too.

Not everybody has to pay the full whack and you could get money off – but it depends on who lives in your home.

It could be worth £100s though, and you could have your council tax bill reduced by anything from 25% to 100%.

For example, if you live on your own, or with someone who isn't classed as an adult, you'll qualify for 25% off your total annual bill.

You’ll also usually get a 50% discount if no-one living in your home, including you, counts as an adult.

And you don't pay anything at all if everyone in your household is a full-time student.

A council tax discount worth as much as £1,000 will be handed to generous families throwing open their second homes to fleeing Ukrainians, amid the ongoing conflict too.

The savings experts have also recommended challenging your tax band in the past.

As many as 400,000 homes are potentially in the wrong council tax band and it means they end up paying too much.

But challenging your council tax doesn't always work.

It can also end up with you, and your neighbours, paying more if you're bumped up to a higher council tax band.

But if you're moved to a lower band, you'll get a refund of council tax going back to the date you moved into the property.

Split the bills

Martin Lewis' MoneySavingExpert's last tip is a little easier to wrap your head around.

If you live with a few people, splitting the bills is the fairest way of making sure everyone in the house is paying their share – but it can be hard to keep track of who owes what.

If all the responsibility is left down to one particularly organised person they might end up overpaying when others don't cough up on time.

The money team recommended using a free app to ease the sometimes painful exchange though.

 On Splitwise you can add the property you want to manage the bills for and invite others to the account from your phone's contacts.

Then everyone can add bills or expenses that they've either paid or are coming up, from utilities to council tax or just home supplies.

And the app will work out who owes whom how much.

You can then request payments within the app, and keep a record the the roommate debts that have been settled.

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It seems fans have heeded the money moguls wisdom lately, as they've gone wild for the £35 Specialbuy that Martin Lewis says can keep you warm for just 3p a day.

And he's revealed how Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Lidl shoppers can get special discounts and save hundreds of pounds too.

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