Blogs > Relocation

Six UK Household Bills You Need to Be Aware Of

  • August 04, 2021

On arrival to the UK, most Doctors will tend to use Air BnB for the initial period of both isolation and settling in, before then progressing onto renting a property.

When renting a property in the UK, it is important that you are aware of the different bills you will be liable to paying (in addition to the monthly rental cost). You will be responsible for a minimum of six main household bills, which this Blog will outline and explain for you - so you can relocate with confidence. As a tenant, rent will likely be your biggest outgoing cost each month. Your landlord is the owner of the property and you can pay your rent to them directly or through a letting’s agent.

  1. Council Tax

Council tax is paid to the council and pays for things such as schools, roads, libraries, support for vulnerable children and adults, and rubbish collections. Council Tax also pays for the police, the fire service and many other local services. You’ll need to know 3 things:

You’ll usually have to pay Council Tax if you’re 18 or over and own or rent a home. A full Council Tax bill is based on at least 2 adults living in a home. Spouses and partners who live together are jointly responsible for paying the bill. You’ll get 25% off your bill if you count as an adult for Council Tax and either:

  • Live on your own.
  • No-one else in your home counts as an adult.


  1. Gas & Electric Bill

When living in a rental property, you’re required to pay the gas and electricity bills. But in some cases, the electricity and gas bills may be in your landlord’s name.  If you’re not sure who is responsible, check your tenancy agreement. It’s worth being aware that if you pay your energy supplier directly, you have the right to switch. Check if there are any cheaper deals out there with a comparison site, like Uswitch, which shows you how much you can save by moving to a new supplier. A direct debit is a great way to make sure you pay your energy bill payment is taken on time, and you can opt to make either monthly or quarterly payments. With a monthly direct debit, your gas and electricity payments come out of your account around the same time every month. You’ll need to make sure your payments are enough to cover your monthly bill. If you used more energy than expected at the end of the year you will be billed for this; you also may be entitled to money back if you paid too much.

  1. Water

As a tenant, you may have a water bill in your own name or pay for water as part of your rent. If you’re not sure, check your tenancy agreement. If it's your responsibility to pay the water bill, you need to find out which water provider supplies your area. You might not realise this, but unlike gas and electricity, you cannot shop around to find a better deal. You’ll either be on your provider’s standard tariff, or have a water meter, which means you only get charged for the amount of water you use.

  1. Phone and Broadband

Next you will need to pay to pay a company to have access to a phone line and broadband. However, few people use landlines for phone calls anymore, if this is you then you may only require one for your internet connection. The price for this depends on the speed and coverage of the internet package you choose and there may be multiple providers in your area. To find out what providers will be available to you in your new home go to: broadband postcode checker. You may also be able to bundle your broadband into a package deal along with your TV and phone this could potentially make it cheaper for you, so it is worth looking into.

  1. TV Licence

As a tenant, it's your responsibility to pay for a TV licence. You need one if you intend to watch or record live TV broadcasts on any channel. You will also need this if you want to download or watch any BBC programmes on iPlayer (including both catch-up and on-demand). From the 1st of April 2021 a standard TV licence costs £159 for the year and the maximum penalty for watching TV without one is £1,000 so it is an important one to remember!

  1. Contents Insurance

In a rented property, it's the landlord’s responsibility to pay for the building’s insurance, because they own the property. Buildings insurance covers the structure of your property, as well as the permanent fixtures and fittings. For example, if a leak occurred due to a burst pipe the landlord would be responsible for fixing this.

On the other hand, you will be responsible for paying Contents Insurance. Contents insurance covers everything you could imagine falling out of your home if you turned it upside down. This includes gadgets, furniture, carpets, curtains, clothes and jewellery.

It’s important to organise contents cover as soon as you move into a new property to ensure you’re covered right away. The price for this depends on the number of belongings you acknowledge when setting up the insurance; do make sure you're not under-insured with your cover. It could mean you end up seriously out of pocket when you need to make a claim. To give you an idea of how much this will be the average UK household owns £35,000 worth of belongings so the average combined home and contents insurance policy cost £141 a year in 2021; that’s just £2.71 a week.


If you are an IMG who wants to relocate to the UK and work for the NHS then send your CV to [email protected] – and one of our Specialist Advisers will be happy to guide and support you through your journey to the UK. We look forward to hearing from you! Alternatively, head over to our Facebook Group: IMG Advisor for an online support network of IMG’s who want to relocate to the UK.


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