Living in the UK

UK Household Bills

If you’re relocating to the UK and plan to rent a property once you’re here, then it’s important to understand the different household bills which you’ll need to pay.

This article details the list of household bills that you can expect, and some information about each, to help you prepare.


When you’re applying to rent a property, you’ll know how much your monthly rent will be. It’s extremely important that you pay your rent – and that you pay on time – as you may lose your home otherwise.

Council Tax

Council tax is the money that you need to pay to your local authority for access to local services (such as rubbish collection, parks, libraries, transport, police and fire services).

Houses are classed into different bands by the local authority and council tax is charged according to these bands. You can find out how much council tax you’ll be paying here.

Payment of council tax is usually by 10 monthly instalments from April to January, paid at the beginning of each month.

Gas, electricity and water

When you’re renting a property, you may be required to pay the water, gas and electricity bills. In some cases, the energy bills might be in your landlord’s name, so it’s important to check your tenancy agreement if you’re not sure who’s responsible.

If you are responsible for paying your gas and electricity supplier directly, then you can opt to choose which gas and electricity supplier you use. You can find gas and electricity deals on Uswitch (a comparison site that will show you how much you can save by moving to a new supplier).

A direct debit is the easiest way to make sure that your energy bill payment is taken on time and you can choose to pay either quarterly, monthly or annually.

Unlike gas and electricity bills, you cannot switch water suppliers. Your water bill will vary depending on where you live, the availability of water in the area you live in and whether you are on a standard tariff or if you have a water meter. If you have a water metre, then you will only get charged for the amount of water that you use.

TV Licence

A TV licence legally allows you to watch live TV on any channel through a TV or website/app. You must have a licence whether you use only Freeview, a pay-tv service or to watch BBC channels.

It is your responsibility to pay for a TV licence. This costs £159 per year and you can either pay this in one go or spread the cost weekly or monthly.

TV, broadband and phone bill

As a tenant, you’ll need to pay for the phone line and broadband.

Many providers offer a bundle package which includes TV, broadband and a phone line. This could work out cheaper than paying for each service separately.

You can find out what internet speed, coverage and deals you can get with Uswitch’s broadband postcode checker.


In a rented property, it’s the landlord’s responsibility to pay for the building’s insurance because they own the property. Buildings insurance is the cover which protects the structure of your home, as well as the permanent fixtures and fittings.

You will, however, need to arrange contents insurance yourself. Contents insurance covers your possessions within the home against insured events. This may include, for example, TVs, computers, washing machines, clothes, mobile devices, jewellery etc.

It’s important to organise contents insurance as soon as you move into a new property to ensure you’re protected right away. Again, you can look around for contents insurance deals on sites like Uswitch.

For information about the process of finding and applying for a rental property in the UK, view our ‘Renting a property in the UK‘ blog