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Money Advice

Household bills

As you will be living in an accommodation or a private flat, you will soon be in contact with household bills. This covers your rent, broadband, utility bills, tv license, etc. It is important to be aware of the types of household bills you will need to pay so as to include them in your budget. We have advice guides in our advice guide section, which goes into the frequently asked questions. We will briefly touch on a few below. 

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Rent
  • Living in a university accommodation - if you are planning/ currently living in a university accommodation you will need to pay your rent in the installments that has been pre-determined. University accommodation costs are usually all-inclusive of all other bills (e.g. broadband, utilities, etc.). However, please double-check with the accommodation when moving-in to prevent any unexpected cost.
  • Living in a privately-rented accommodation - if you live in a privately-rented accommodation, most cost of rent of a private property does not include other household bills (unless specified when signing the contract). In this case, you will have to ensure that on top of your monthly rent, you pay for your other household bills which are listed below. 
Utilities

Gas, water and electricity are sometimes included in rent but it is more common for the tenant to be billed.

  • Water is usually an annual bill which you can pay in a number of installments - Direct Debit can be a useful and convenient way to do this.
  • Gas and electricity may fluctuate throughout the year but it is also possible to pay monthly based on usage over the year - discuss your options with the energy supplier.  You may also find that you can get a discount if you get gas and electricity from the same supplier.
  • Some flats and houses have a key meter where you have to top-up gas and electricity by paying at a local newsagent that takes PayPoint payments.  If you do not wish to pay your bills in this way speak to the landlord before you move in about taking the key meter out.

Always remember to contact the energy supplier when you move in, even if you have a key meter!

You need to ensure that you are only billed for the energy you use.  Key meters are sometimes installed to repay an energy debt - make sure you are not paying for someone else, there is no reason why you should but it is up to you to let the energy supplier know that there is a new tenant.

TV Licence

If there is a TV in the house you need a TV Licence. It is everyone’s responsibility! Don’t assume that because the TV is not yours you won’t be prosecuted. If it is watched in a house where you live then you will be committing a criminal offence by not having a licence - make sure that there is one if the TV licence inspector comes knocking.To find out the current cost for a TV Licence click here.

If you live in a shared house you may only need one licence for the property but if you signed a separate tenancy agreement and you have a TV in your room, you'll need a TV Licence of your own.

Insurance

Your Landlord is responsible for insuring the building but to secure your own belongings, you will need to take out a contents insurance policy. You may be covered by your parents’ policy but if not, shop around for a personal or group insurance. Endsleigh specialise in student insurance but have a look for other quotes.

 Do I have to pay Council Tax?

Students are exempt from Council Tax but you must remember to request a Council Tax Exemption Certificate from Student Services. If you decide to move in with non-students, they may expect you to pay towards the Council Tax bill - so always check this before agreeing to move in.  For more information please speak to the Advice & Guidance Team.
If you are already living in the private sector and you are finding your household bills difficult to manage speak to an adviser about ways to reduce them.

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