Living costs

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London is one of the most expensive cities in the UK. Along with the cost of accommodation, there are many other expenses which need to be considered.

Council tax

Every household in England has to pay council tax to cover the cost of public services such as rubbish collection, street lighting, library, police and fire services. Council tax applies to all domestic properties regardless of if they are owned or rented. 

The amount of council tax you pay will depend on the valuation band that your property falls into. You must let the council know how many people live in the property as living alone may entitle you to a single person’s discount. There are a variety of ways to pay, including direct debit or by phone.

For more information about council tax visit your local council’s website.

Utility Bills  

You will need to arrange utilities such as gas, electricity and water upon moving into your new home. In some cases, bills for these services will be included in rent payments, but usually, this will be paid separately, and directly to the provider.

Your water supplier will depend on the area in which you live, details of which can be found on the Ofwat website.

The Citizens Advice Bureau provides a comprehensive and impartial guide to providers on their website, which you may find useful.

Gas and Electricity

For gas and electricity, there are several suppliers and you should choose the one that suits you best. Comparison websites like Uswitch can help you search through suppliers and decide on the package you wish to go with.

It is worth noting that it is usually more cost-effective to buy gas and electricity from the same provider.

Telephone and Internet 

You will need to check the broadband coverage at your address, which can be done by entering postcode onto comparison websites such as Broadband.

Many suppliers will cater to your postcode, each offering different deals with some offering bundle packages attached to a landline.

TV licence

You need to be covered by a valid TV Licence if you watch or record TV as it’s being broadcasted. This includes using devices such as a computer, laptop or mobile phone to watch. 

Full details of how to obtain and pay for a TV licence are available on the TV licensing website.

Mobile Phone

If arriving from the EU, you can use your home plan to make and receive calls, texts and use data at no extra cost. However, if you are moving to the UK long-term it is advised that you set up a UK mobile plan.

You can purchase a sim card upon arrival in the UK. There are a variety of contract types available as well as Pay As You Go plans. Make sure your phone is unlocked or can have dual sims so it will work in the UK.