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The cost of running your home

If you already run your own home, you’ll know how much it can cost. As well as rent and council tax, there are utilities such as gas, electricity and water.

If this is the first time you are setting up a home, then there are costs you will need to think about. You need to make sure that you can afford these costs before you accept any offer that we make you.

This page aims to give you an idea of the costs you will need to budget for.

Your rent

If you are offered a property from us, we will tell you how much the rent will be when you apply.

You will also find the monthly rent displayed on our property adverts.

As well as your monthly rent, you may also need to pay a Service Charge. A Service Charge is a small fee charged by your landlord to cover the communal areas of your building, such as the lift or communal entrance. You will be made aware of any Service Charge that is applicable to your home when you are offered the property.

It is very important that your rent is paid regularly and kept up to date as you risk losing your home.

You may be able to obtain help paying your rent, for example Universal Credit.

If you encounter difficulties paying your rent, please speak to us, the sooner we know there is a problem, the sooner we can help.

Council Tax

Most people have to pay some amount of Council Tax.

Your local council will be able to tell you how much it is for a specific property.

You may be able to claim some help from your council to help pay your council tax. Check if you are eligible and apply for a discount.

TV Licence

A TV licence currently costs £150.50 for a year, the fee changes each year according to inflation, with the new price coming into effect on 1 April each year.

You can pay for it yearly, quarterly or monthly.

You need to be covered by a TV licence to:

  • watch or record live TV programmes on any channel
  • download or watch BBC programmes on iPlayer.

This could be on any device, including a TV, desktop computer, laptop, mobile phone, tablet, games console, digital box or DVD/VHS recorder.

You could face prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000 if you’re caught watching TV without a licence.

Click here for more information and to visit TV Licencing

Home contents insurance

We strongly recommend obtaining your own Contents Insurance, this will help you replace your belongings if your home is burgled, if there is a fire or if you lose keys and need to have the locks replaced.

Cover can start from less than 50p per week, so it is an easy way of protecting you and your family’s possessions.


Your utilities are made up of electricity, gas, and water.

We will advise you who your water company is when you sign your tenancy with us.

Water will cost you, according to Water UK, on average, £405 a year, or £33.75 a month in 2018/19.

The price you pay for your electricity and gas can vary, depending on the supplier and tariff you choose.

However, according to energy market regulator Ofgem, the average dual fuel variable tariff as of April 2018 is £94.83 per month, or £1,138 a year.

Remember during the colder months, your energy usage will be higher and the cost can vary depending on how many people are living in the property.

Landline telephone and broadband

Most people still pay for a landline telephone to their home, it is usually required for broadband and internet services.

Your telephone line will cost you around £17 per month in line rental, along with the cost of any calls or additional packages you take out, such as broadband.

Food and household goods

Bread, meat and vegetables are among our biggest spends at the supermarket, with the average family weekly food shop coming in at £53.20.

Although it might seem more expensive at the time, it often works out cheaper to do a weekly shop. This way you can set yourself a budget and stick to it.

While all the major supermarkets have offers and discounts, make sure you actually need the things you buy before you end up spending more than you need, or wasting food.

You could also try buying supermarket own-brand or basic ranges, which can be far cheaper than branded products.

Travel expenses

On average, according to the Office of National Statistics, the second largest cost for the average household in the UK is transport.

We spend an average of £20 per week on Public Transport, which rises to around £40 a week if you have your own car.

You can try and save money on petrol or public transport by cycling or walking more, or by simply planning your journeys to ensure you don’t need to make repeated visits.

Clothes and other expenses

According to the Office of National Statistics, we spend an average of £22.60 per week on clothing and footwear.

If you have children, you will also need to budget for school uniforms.

If you are struggling to meet your payment responsibilities, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. We work with partners including Citizen’s Advice to provide impartial budgeting advice. We can also work with you to agree a payment plan if you are having difficulties.

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