Bills for gas, electricity, internet and telephone
You need to check if your contract is inclusive or exclusive of bills:
- Inclusive - this means that some or all bills are included in your rent, you should check if there is a limit as to how much is covered. This can make it easier to budget and is helpful if you are living with strangers.
- Exclusive - this means bills are not covered. It will be your responsibility to make sure bills are paid in full and on time. This can be a difficult arrangement if you do not know the people you are living with well.
By law you are required to have a TV licence if you use a TV or any other device to receive or record TV programmes, including a PC with a broadcast card. If you do not have TV licence, you could be taken to court and fined up to £1000. To find out the cost of a TV licence and how to apply for one visit the TV licensing website.
Although not a legal requirement you should insure your belongings before you move into your new property, this is called contents insurance. If you decide not to insure your belongings you are taking a risk as students are easy targets for thieves because they are likely to have a large amount of electronic equipment in one house.
Endsleigh provides insurance specifically for students and you can also search for other companies on line using comparison websites such as moneysupermarket, and confused.com.
Council tax is a charge made by local councils to help pay for local servivces such as the police and fire service, street lighting and rubbish collection. Certain individuals may not have to pay council tax - this is called an exemption.
If you are a registered student and are staying in a property where everyone is a full-time student you will be exempt from paying Council Tax. You will need to notify the council of this.
If you are in writing up status, you may have to pay council tax you should read the information provided by your local council, for students living in Birmingham this information is on the Birmingham council tax page.
If you are living with non-students, or a student in writing up stage of their PhD then council tax may be charged for your property. If you are a full-time international student and are living with only your spouse and dependents then you should all be exempt from council tax.