Renting a property fact sheet

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1 Renting a property fact sheet Renting a property with Cornwall Council For a lot of people renting a house for the first time can be scary. But it doesn t need to be. In this fact sheet you will find information and advice, about setting up your new home and how to spend your money, which can help you to avoid debt and a lot of headaches. When you rent a property from Cornwall council you can feel safe in the knowledge that we are committed to: Providing decent homes - We will manage the resources we have efficiently and will not cease until every home is decent. We want to deliver improvements and repairs that satisfy tenants expectations on quality, speed and choice and we will ensure Cornwall Council's homes remain safe places for tenants to live. Providing value for money - Cornwall Landlord Services will be cost efficient, regularly reviewing and improving operations. We will make sure we spend the rent income from tenants prudently and manage the resources we have effectively. Providing an excellent housing service - We want to be an excellent landlord, managing the issues that matter to tenants and which make a positive difference to tenants and the neighbourhoods they live in. Improving through involvement - We will work to develop a structure in which tenants and staff have a clear and influential role in creating the housing service they want The cost of living Moving into your own home is exciting, but can also be expensive. If you are managing a household budget for the first time, or are moving to a larger property, you will need to think carefully about how much money you will need to set up your home and pay your bills.

2 Starting out When you first move in to a property, listed here are basics you may need to buy: Furniture Carpets Curtains Oven Washing machine White goods e.g. fridge, freezer Bed linen Towels Pots, pans, cutlery and crockery Kettle Television Vacuum cleaner Bills When you have set up home, you must pay these bills as a priority: Rent Council tax Electricity Gas Water Food and household goods TV licence Home insurance Car tax, MOT and repairs Telephone and internet charges Clothes Travel and parking costs Credit card, store card, catalogue payments Rent When you move into one of our properties, you will sign a tenancy agreement. This means that you are committed to paying us rent and if you don t pay, you could lose your home. The amount of rent you pay will depend on the area you live in, and the type and size of your property. As a guide your rent will be around 60 per week. Housing Benefit may be able to help with your rent. If you receive Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance or Guaranteed pension credit you should be entitled to full Housing Benefit. You may also be entitled to full or partial Housing Benefit if you are on other benefits or a low income. For rent enquires contact the Estate Management Team on For Benefit enquiries contact

3 Council Tax Council tax is charges according to the band rating of your property. If you live alone, are a student or have a disability you will be entitled to a discount. Please contact for more information. Save your energy It is important for you to remember that energy bills will be more expensive in the winter months. Energy watch has provided the following guide as to how much your combined gas and electricity bill is likely to cost, though it will depend on the size of your home: One bedroom flat- 10 per week Two bedroom house- 17 per week Three bedroom house- 25 per week Water Rates The use of water in your home is either measured by a meter or based on the rate value of your property. In 2008/09 bills for properties with a water meter varied from around 3.10 per week for one person, to over 12 per week for five people. For homes without a meter, a rough idea of bills would be: Just over 10 per week for a one bedroom flat/bungalow Around 12 per week for a two bedroom house Around 15 per week for a three bedroom house Please note-these are estimates. Always check with your water company for accurate prices. TV Licence If you have a television in your home, you must buy a television licence by law. This will cost: Colour Black and white 48 You can purchase this annually or set up payments on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis to help you budget. For more information visit:

4 Home Insurance Whilst it is not a legal requirement to insure the contents of your home, we strongly advise it. Think about how much is would cost if you had to replace things if you were burgled or had a fire. We can offer tenants affordable contents insurance, through Crystal Insurance Scheme, cover can start from as little as 3 per month. The cost will depend on the area you live in and the value of what you are insuring. Food Your food and household bills will vary from household to household, but typical weekly costs, according to the national debtline website are: Single person Two people Per child For more information contact the Estate Management Team on Budgeting: Loans Did you know that you can apply for a budgeting loan to pay for essential household item if you have received Income Support, income based Jobseekers allowance or Pension Credit for at least 26 weeks. These are interest free, so you only have to pay back what you borrow. To find out about budgeting loans, visit the jobcentre website: If you don t qualify for a budgeting loan, you could get a low cost loan from a local credit union. Further details or local credit unions can be found on Don t pay more than you need to If you can t afford new household items, don t be tempted into borrowing from doorstep sales people or money lenders. You will pay very high interest rates, which will make the loan difficult to pay off. You should also be wary of furniture stores that charge a high rate of interest. You will end up paying a lot more than you bargained for. Recycled furniture There are a number of places in the South West, where you can buy affordable furniture or dispose of furniture for example or

5 Here to help If you are struggling with bills and need help, our Estate Management Team can help. We can refer you to agencies who can advise you on benefits, how to budget; manage debts, opening a bank account and other general enquiries about money. You can contact the Estate Management Team on or Cornwall Council South East Cornwall Landlord Service Trewithan House Liskeard PL14 3HG

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