Moving to the UK

Moving to the UK

Accommodation

Renting a property

Monthly rental costs will vary depending upon size and condition of the property, inclusion or exclusion of bills, and proximity to the city centre and the University. Please be aware that quite often deposits are required when signing private-sector tenancy agreements, which can range from one to two month’s rent payable at the time of signing the agreement.

When signing on with a letting agent, be proactive. Make sure you keep in frequent contact to remind the letting agent you are still searching for accommodation.

Letting agencies that are a member of a professional body, such as ARLA (Association of Residential Letting Agents) or the National Approved Letting Scheme, have to comply with the body’s code of conduct and you can lodge a complaint if things go wrong and the code of conduct is not followed. If you decide to work with an agency, it is recommended that you look for those that are registered with one of these organisations

Find a letting agent

You must prove that you have a right to rent property in England. To confirm this, you will be required to present your passport/biometric permit to your landlord. Full details of the document checks required can be found here.

Buying a property

The Directgov website gives useful information about buying a property in the UK.

Council Tax

Council Tax is a local tax, set by councils to help pay for local services like policing and refuse collection. It applies to all domestic properties, including houses, bungalows, flats, maisonettes, mobile homes or houseboats, whether owned or rented.

Further information can be found on the Council Tax website.

Utilities

Water

The water provider in the South West is South West Water. Unless you are renting a property with water bills included in the rent, you will need to contact South West Water when you move to your new property.

Energy suppliers

There are many gas & electricity suppliers in the UK. When you move into your new home there should already be an electricity and (in most cases) also a gas supplier. You should take the meter readings when you first move in to your new home to ensure that you only pay for the energy you use. Energywatch provides useful information about choosing & changing your supplier. There are price comparator websites so that you can check that you are getting the best deal:

Some rented properties come with energy bills included in the rent.

Home telephone

There are many home telephone providers in the UK, although unless your home has cable provisions you will probably need to pay for a BT line rental. You can compare prices at:

Home broadband

There is a large variety of broadband providers in the UK. Moneysupermarket.com is a price comparison website which give details of the best deals available for home broadband.

uSwitch - broadband is a free comparison site helping you to save money, by finding the best deals available in your area.

Mobile phones

There are various mobile phone companies in the UK all with a range of price plans. Moneysupermarket.com and HandsetExpert are useful price comparison websites which give details of the best deals available for mobile phones.

Television

You may wish to rent or buy a television when in the UK. You need to be covered by a TV Licence to:

  • watch or record programmes as they’re being shown on TV or live on an online TV service
  • 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.

It is compulsory to buy a TV licence if you rent or buy a television. Licences currently cost £154.50 per year and can be purchased online. It is possible to pay by installments. TV licences must be renewed yearly.

Insurance

It is advisable to make a list of everything you bring to the UK for insurance purposes, if you are renting it is advisable to obtain contents insurance and if you are buying a property, it is likely to be a condition of the mortgage to have building and/or contents insurance.

Moving your possessions

If you want to bring large items to the UK such as furniture, heavy items such as books or boxes containing your belongings, you will need to organise shipment through a professional mover in your home country or an international mover based in the UK

Healthcare

There are a number of NHS clinics and centres within close proximity to the University:

To find other surgeries, visit the NHS homepage and look for the ‘Find and choose services’ section.

You will need to register with the NHS centre nearest to your home by going into the centre and completing the appropriate forms.

Most centres will require proof of identification when registering and will ask to see either your passport or driving licence and a copy of a utility bill confirming your address.