Cost of Living

Cost of Living

These are a number of regular costs that you will need to consider when relocating to UK.

Council Tax

Council Tax is a tax on domestic property collected by your local council and is used to pay for local services such as education, police, rubbish collection, road maintenance, street lighting and much more.

There is one bill per dwelling whether owned or rented.  The amount levied varies according to the value of the property.  The letting/estate agent will be able to tell you the value of the council tax.  The person/people who live in the property will have to pay Council Tax.

If you are renting a room in a shared house the council tax may be paid by the landlord.  This can be checked with the letting agent/landlord.

Utility Bills

For any property you rent or buy you may need to pay for electricity/gas/oil and water.  If you are renting a property, particularly if you are renting a room in a shared house, you should check your landlord/letting agent to see if any of these bills are included in your rent.

Electricity/Gas/Oil

Most UK properties have electricity (plug sockets/light) and gas (heating).  Some properties are heated using storage heaters which heat up overnight using low cost electricity.  Some rural properties are not connected to gas and so are heated using oil.  You will be charged for the amount you consume.

When you take on a property there will already be a supplier for the property.  The letting/estate agent will let you know who this is and the type of payment arrangement.

Payment on a direct debit

On the day you move in you should read the meters (often outside the property in a white box or on a smart meter device in the property) then contact the supplier to give your details and the readings.  You are then able to switch supplier as you may be able to get a more beneficial price for the supply.

To find out which deal is the best for you, use comparison websites such as:

Pay-as-you-go meter

A property may have a ‘pay as you go’ meter operated by a card or cash.

Oil

If you have heating supplied by oil there will be an oil tank located outside of the property.  There is usually a gauge inside the property to inform you of the oil level.  If you are renting a property ensure that the letting agent has made a note of the level as you are likely to be asked to leave the oil tank at the same level when you leave.  Oil suppliers can be sought using this website.

Water

Water is supplied to a property by a local provider.  Water is provided by Anglian Water in most of Lincolnshire.  You can check other areas using this map.

Water is charged in one of two ways: a flat rate for the property, or via a water meter.  An estate/letting agent will be able to tell you who supplies the property and what the type of billing it is.

If supplied by a water meter then on the day you move in you should read the meters (usually this is in front of the property at the kerbside beneath a small round cover) then contact the supplier to give your details and the readings.

Insurance

If you are renting a property then it is highly advisable to insure your belongings against accidental damage, loss, theft and fire.

If you are buying a property you are responsible for the property from the date that you ‘Exchange’. On a freehold property, if you are having a mortgage, you must put in place buildings insurance from exchange.  For leasehold properties, usually the landlord arranges a block insurance policy.  It is then highly advisable to insure your belongings against accidental damage, loss, theft and fire

It is best to make a list of everything (including what you bring or have brought to the UK) so that you know what needs to be insured. There are a large variety of insurance policies available and it is best to compare prices before purchasing one. There are various price comparison websites available such as

Broadband Internet Connection and Telephone Lines

Before setting up an Internet connection in your home, it is best to check out what service is available in your area, as Broadband speed and availability can vary depending on provider and where you live.

In order to set up an Internet connection in your home, it is most likely that you need a working home telephone line, which can take up to two weeks to get connected. To find out what you need to do and also which UK Internet provider offers you the best service and best price in your area, please visit Broadband.co.uk.

If you are renting a room in a shared house the broadband may be provided by the landlord.

TV Licence

To check whether you need to pay for a TV licence and how this can be arranged use the TV Licencing website.