Thinking about renting an apartment as a student

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Gondur
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I'm currently living in University Accommodation but I'm interested in renting my own 1 bedroom apartment. I currently pay £97 per week and this includes electricity, water, gas, internet but no TV (not having a TV isn't a problem for me and I can manage without one). Obviously since this is my first time considering living completely independently, I have no idea what bills I'd have to pay when renting a small 1 bedroom apartment. I know I'll be exempt from council tax payments but what about the other bills I mentioned here? Who do I inform to make payments? Are payments made online or do I need to go somewhere each week or each month to pay the bills? How much are the bills I'd have to pay?

I don't want to house share for lots of reasons so this isn't an option at this time. I want my own flat in a nice leafy area and I've seen some where I live for around £100 per week but when you add all the other bills on top, will it be more like £200 per week?

Basic advice needed ASAP!
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thatonethere
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Woah 200 a week would be expensive!

Things to consider:
Basic rent - usually paid by direct debit which you can set up online or in a bank. You can arrange which day of the month payments will be taken. Usually 300-450 a month depending on where you live.

Any maintenance/building fees (usually if you live in a block in a nicer area).

Electricity - I lived with one other person and we had a pay-as-you-go meter. Some companies (the apartment is probably already set up to an electricity company) will take a set amount from a direct debit per month and reimburse you or charge extra at the end of a quarter or annum. For both of us it was roughly 30-35 a month (we were very economical!)

Gas - Depends on if you have central heating. Everything in my apartment was electricity - the hot water, cooker etc. Usually payable by Direct debit.

Contents/car insurance (optional)

If you have a car factor in Tax, MOT and petrol costs.

Phone line (optional)

Internet package - Can be upto 45 a month for the fancy packages together with calls and Sky etc. We have a basic broadband one for 20 a month, though BT and Virgin do heavily discounted deals for students (I saw BT is doing it for 12.50 a month now)

Food - for one person you can easily spend less than 50 a week, I had friends who literally spent 30 per week. (I liked to eat lunch out often).

Mobile phone - again if you don't have a plan there are very good ones out there.

Transport - variable.

And dont forget course materials, nights out, clothes etc.

If you google student budget calculator there are some really comprehensive ones on the net that can give good figures.
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balotelli12
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Water rates need to be added at £700 a year roughly plus internet access the cheapest I've seen with line rental is around £25 a month.
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thatonethere
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(Original post by balotelli12)
Water rates need to be added at £700 a year roughly plus internet access the cheapest I've seen with line rental is around £25 a month.
We had fibreoptic broadband which you can have without the phoneline rental requirement
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AW1983
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I would break it down, per month, as follows (TV included if you're interested). I'm only considering things your halls costs currently cover as presumably you already have to buy food, books, clothes etc:

Rent: £400
Energy: £80ish for a single person would be about right
Water: £60 (might be a bit lower to be honest)
Telephone & Internet: Doable at £15-20
TV license: £12ish

Annualised, that's around £6,870. Per week it's just over £132.

The other initial outlays to consider are tenancy fees and a deposit. The deposit will be around £600 and you should get it back.

The tenancy fees will be £200-300 and will be paid to an unqualified scumbag of a rental agent getting money for doing near enough f**k all in a cowboy industry. They'll tend to drive a Jaguar or a BMW and be uncontactable from the point you get the keys until the day they want to renew your tenancy (which means, basically, changing the dates, often with typos, for a fee of £100).
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username457532
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Where the **** are you living that a 'nice flat in a leafy area' is £100 a week? I want to be there. Or maybe I don't...
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balotelli12
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(Original post by thatonethere)
We had fibreoptic broadband which you can have without the phoneline rental requirement
For £28 a month!
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thatonethere
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Ahh maybe it's gone up... we got a pretty good deal with virgin - it was a special 9 month contract, but we had already had a more expensive one the year previous so maybe it was a loyalty thing?
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Paula Smith 1990
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Has anyone tried using a pay as you go mobile broadband dongle - I guess it depends how much data you use, but could it be a viable alternative to having a phone line/broadband combination?
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thatonethere
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(Original post by Paula Smith 1990)
Has anyone tried using a pay as you go mobile broadband dongle - I guess it depends how much data you use, but could it be a viable alternative to having a phone line/broadband combination?
I've heard generally negative things about dongles such as very little data, unreliable, slow speed and that its very liable to slowing down during peak times.

Although, I did find out that if you have a family member with BT broadband they usually grant BT email addresses to members of that household, which I had. I stayed with my grandparents during the last few weeks of my degree and they didn't have an internet plan but were in a BT hotspot so I could could still access wifi for free using my email and password! The hotspots are pretty widespread so could be worth checking!
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Knalchemist
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(Original post by Gondur)
I'm currently living in University Accommodation but I'm interested in renting my own 1 bedroom apartment. I currently pay £97 per week and this includes electricity, water, gas, internet but no TV (not having a TV isn't a problem for me and I can manage without one). Obviously since this is my first time considering living completely independently, I have no idea what bills I'd have to pay when renting a small 1 bedroom apartment. I know I'll be exempt from council tax payments but what about the other bills I mentioned here? Who do I inform to make payments? Are payments made online or do I need to go somewhere each week or each month to pay the bills? How much are the bills I'd have to pay?

I don't want to house share for lots of reasons so this isn't an option at this time. I want my own flat in a nice leafy area and I've seen some where I live for around £100 per week but when you add all the other bills on top, will it be more like £200 per week?

Basic advice needed ASAP!
Most bills come out of your bank via Direct Debit these days.

In my one bed flat this was our bills...

Rent £700pm (Greater London!) - direct debit from bank straight to landlord

Electricity £50pm (no gas) - direct debit from bank straight to supplier. However some places have metered electricity, which means you'll have to top it up whenever it gets low or something, usually at a post office or local newsagent. (If you have gas it's the same principle, metered or via direct debit).

Water rates £35pm (again these can be metered)

Shopping was £150pm - this was for 2 of us, and included cleaning supplies, loo roll etc.

Contents Insurance £12pm (This is a requirement in most tenancy agreements)

Sky Broadband was £12 for 6 months, then £24pm. This was for unlimited broadband + phone line + evening and weekend free calls. Dongles are a bad idea. They usually don't work well in built up, busy areas - or rural countrysides haha.

Council Tax £75 (but you'll be exempt, as long as you give a letter to the council stating you're a student)

TV licence £140pa - don't forget to check the terms about having a TV licence as if you use certain things on your laptop to watch TV programmes you still need one.

Don't forget that, in order to rent a place yourself, you'll have to pay all following ​before moving in.....
1 - 1.5 months rent as a deposit
1 months rent in advance
Referencing fe's (usually around £75 - £100pp)
Check-in fee (around £75)
If it's unfurnished you'll need furniture

You may need a guarantor, which would mean your guarantor would have to be referenced as well.

Don't forget to factor in any costs for socialising, university text books, printing costs (unless you use the university computer/printers) transport costs to and from uni etc.... moving out is expensive business.

It got to the point me and my boyfriend couldn't afford the bills in our place, after the landlord raised the rent, so we ended up moving back with parents!
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