Hello! I will be moving to the UK to start a phd in september. I am planning to rent a flat and I was wondering, assuming that I find one and sign the contract, what other things need to be done before I can move in? I mean like arranging electricity, gas etc (if they are not included in the rent). How long do these things take?
From what I gather (am moving into a shared house in July), you just have to inform the gas / electricity / water companies that you have moved in. They won't shut off the supply, they will just update their records so that the bills come to you (rather than the old tenants), starting from the day you moved in
Also, you'll have to tell the local council that you're a student and therefore not liable for council tax, and redirect any post from your current home address.
As mentioned already inform the gas & electric supplier and give them a meter reading, just in case the previous tenant hasn't done it. Contact the water supplier, TV licensing (which should be free for a student), the council and you might need to arrange for internet access.
Many of this things can be done with one phone call or online.